A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In Torah Parsha, TETZAVEH, we read the intricate details, described by God, to attire Aaron and his sons in an elaborate fashion, with specific emblems on both their arms, and breastplates representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The beginning of this week’s Parsha (KI TISA) continues with directions from God to […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In Torah Parsha, TERUMAH, we read last week how the magnificent ‘MISHKAN’ (Sanctuary), a sacred place, dedicated to God, was constructed. Parshat TETZAVEH begins with instructions to Moses for creation of the final piece, to be placed in the ‘Tent of Meeting’, outside the dividing curtain. “You shall command the children […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah Parsha (MISHPATIM), we were provided with a list of dozens of commandments and prohibitions, as spoken by God to Moses; and, subsequently to the Israelites. This week’s Parsha (TERUMAH) seems, at a first reading, to comprise another detailed list from God to Moses. This time God presents […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah Parsha (YITRO), we read about the dramatic event which took place at the bottom of Mount Sinai. Amidst thick clouds of smoke, and the booming sound of the Shofar, the Israelites heard the Words of God, as he presented to them the ‘Ten Commandments’. In this week’s […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah Parsha (BESHLACH), we read about how the Israelites celebrated with song, to express their deep gratitude to God, for delivering them from the enslavement and bondage, which they experienced in Egypt, under the rule of the Pharaoh. At the beginning of this week’s Torah Parsha (YITRO), the […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17-16)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant After the devastation and slaughter of all of the first-born to families in Egypt (God’s tenth and final plague), the Pharaoh finally freed the Jews in Egypt (Parsha ‘BO’). In this week’s Torah Parsha (BESHLACH), ‘The Song of the Sea’, we read about how the Israelites escaped Egypt, and a juxtaposition […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Torah Parsha (BO) is a sequel to last week’s Parsha, VA’EIRA, which concluded with the perpetuation of the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt, despite the seven devastating plagues, which God had imposed on the Pharaoh and his people. In BO, God relentlessly exacerbates the essence of His final three plagues. […]

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

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Miracles, magic, and marvels aptly describe this week’s Torah Parsha (VA’EIRA). The Exodus narrative is central to our identity as Jews, and is read every year at Shabbot, and again at Passover. Each year, we tell and re-tell the powerful story, which enabled the Jews to escape slavery and oppression in […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Shemot(Exodus 1:1-6:1)

This week, we begin the second Book of the Torah, EXODUS, with the Parsha, SHEMOT. The story continues with the end of GENESIS, and the descendants of Jacob, Joseph, his brothers, and their families living in Egypt, albeit 400 years later. “The Israelites were fertile and prolific; they multiplied and increased very greatly, so that […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

by Student Rabbi Shelley Goldman This Shabbat is my Grandmother’s Fourth Yartzeit. By Jewish reckoning, she died Shabbat morning of Parashat Vayechi, the last Torah portion in the book of Genesis. At this point in our story, our patriarch Jacob is lying on his deathbed and offering blessings to his sons. I remember hearing these words […]