A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: BEHAALOTECHA (NUMBERS 8:1-12:16)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   Slightly after a year of being rescued from Egypt, this week’s Parsha provides a glimpse into Moses’ psyche, as well as the state of mind of the Israelites. As the plan continues at Mount Sinai with some last minute perfunctory details, God instructs Moses  regarding the procedures for […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: NASO (NUMBERS 4:21-7:89)

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: NASO (NUMBERS 4:21-7:89) By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Torah Parsha (NASO) begins with a continuation of last week’s Parsha (BAMIDBAR), completing the census of the Children of Israel, and assigning the intricate details of the tasks to be performed by each individual tribe, in the transporting of […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: BAMIDBAR (NUMBERS 1:1-4:20)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Last week’s Torah Parsha (BECHUKOTAI) was the final portion in the Book of LEVITICUS. The entire Book of LEVITICUS provided us with dozens of commandments, directives, and sins; with corresponding punishments if any of God’s laws were disobeyed. Parsha (BECHUKOTAI) was particularly harsh, in the terror and curses, which […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: BECHUKOTAI (LEVITICUS 26:3-27:34)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Parsha (BECHUKOTAI) sets out with stunning clarity the terms of Jewish life under the covenant. In the first part, there is an idyllic picture of the blessing of Divine favor. If Israel follows God’s decrees and keeps his commandments, there will be rain; the earth will yield […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: BEHAR (LEVITICUS 25.1-26.2)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   In the Book of EXODUS, we read how God miraculously overcame all obstacles to finally liberate the Israelites from over 400 years of slavery and bondage, in Egypt. The primary focus of the Book of LEVITICUS (which follows the Book of EXODUS) is to create a civilized society […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: KEDOSHIM (LEVITICUS 19:1-20:27)

In last week’s Torah Parsha (ACHAREI MOT), we read about how, as a community, we atone for an enumeration of sins and Transgressions, during the Yom Kippur service. This week’s Parsha (KEDOSHIM) begins with the Lord speaking to Moses: “Bring the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, you shall be […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: ACHAREI MOT (LEVITICUS 16:1-18:30)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   For the last two weeks of Shabbat, we interrupted our Torah reading of LEVITICUS, first to repeat specific chapters of EXODUS, for the first two days of Passover; and, subsequently to read several portions of DEUTERONOMY for the eighth and final day of Passover. This week, we return […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: SHEMINI (LEVITICUS 9:1-11-47)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant For several weeks and many chapters- – the longest prelude in the Torah- – we have read of the preparations for the moment at which God would bring His Presence to rest in the midst of the people. Five Torah portions (TERUMAH, TETZAVEH, KI TISA, VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEI) describe […]