A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: TZAV (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant The primary theme of last week’s Torah Parsha (VAKIRA) pertained to the five diverse sacrifices, which the Israelites presented at the Sanctuary. On the surface, this week’s Torah Parsha (TZAV) appears to be merely an extension of Parsha (VAKIRA), differentiated solely by the focus shifting to the kohanim, who […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: VAKIRA (LEVITICUS 1:1-5:26)

By Joy  Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Torah Parsha (VAKIRA) is the first Parsha in the Book of Leviticus, known formally as ‘Torat Kohanim’ (instructions for the Priests) (1). The title for this Parsha defines the entire Book of Leviticus. We have just completed reading the thrilling and dramatic story of the Book of […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: VAYAKHEL-PEKUDEI (EXODUS 3:51-40:38)

This week we read two Parshiot: VAYAKHEL followed by PEKUDEI. Each of these Parshiot are replete with multiple, and frequently contradictory interpretations. The logical rationale for the perplexity of the sages is a remarkable concurrence of events, without apparent connection. In effect, with the exception of a few modifications, these two Parshiot are virtually exact […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: MISHPATIM (EXODUS 21:1-24:18)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   In last week’s Torah Parsha (YITRO), the Ten Commandments rang out from Mount Sinai in a symphony of sound and vision, thunder and lightning – -and the world was forever changed. Although this week’s Parsha (MISHPATIM) lacks the’ Pyrotechnic  Accompaniment’, its message is, in effect, a qualification and […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: YITRO (EXODUS 18:1-20:23)

By  Joy Scott,  Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Torah Parsha (YITRO) consists of two episodes, which appear to be a study in contrast. In the first (Chapter 18, YITRO), Moses’ father-in-law, a high level Midianite provides Moses lessons in management and governance. In the second, the prime mover is God, Himself, who, in an unprecedented […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BESHALACH (EXODUS 13:17-17:16)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant The splitting of the ‘Sea of Reeds’ is one of the seminal events in Jewish history. This week’s Torah Parsha (BESHALACH) begins with a description of how the Israelites finally left Egypt, and the yoke of the Pharaoh. What had been considered impossible had occurred! The mightiest army in […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BO (EXODUS 10:1-13:16)

By Joy Scott,  Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Torah Parsha (BO) continues with the story of Exodus. God had already inflicted seven devastating plagues on Egypt, subsequent to the Pharaoh’s perpetual denial to free the enslaved Israelites. In Parsha (BO), it becomes apparent that from the very first time that God approached Moses (behind the […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: VA’EIRA (EXODUS 6:2-9:35)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Last week’s Torah Parsha (SHEMOT) ended with Moses and Aaron both discouraged, as the Pharaoh of Egypt denied their request to free the enslaved Israelites. This week’s Parsha (VA’EIRA) describes with precise detail, the first seven of the ten plagues, which would eventually decimate all of Egypt. A major […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: SHEMOT (EXODUS 1:1-6:1)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant The opening chapters of Exodus plunge us into a midst of epic events. Moses passes from Prince of Egypt; to Midianite shepherd; to leader of the Israelites. The narrative begins with a new Pharaoh of Egypt, “who did not know of Joseph” (1). However, the descendants of Jacob had […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: VAYECHI (GENESIS 44:28-50:26)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah Parsha (VAYIGASH), Joseph became overwhelmed with emotion, when he learned that his father, Jacob was still alive. He revealed his identity to his eleven brothers; and, urged them to bring his father and all of their wives and children to Egypt. The brothers were both […]