A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: 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 were the recipients of the various […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH PARSHA: 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 EXODUS, which captivated our imagination like […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH: KI TISA (EXODUS 30:11-34:35) By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah

This week’s Torah Parsha (KI TISA) begins on Mount Sinai, where God is relating to Moses some rather benign instructions, pertaining to final particulars, for completion of the Holy Sanctuary. It is expected that Moses will remain at the top of the mountain for another forty days. Here, he will receive the two tablets of […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH: TETZAVEH (EXODUS 27:20-30:10)

The primary theme of last week’s Torah Parsha (TERUMAH) was the building of the Mishken (Sanctuary). Each Israelite donated the gold; silver; copper; fabric; and, all of the other materials required to create a dwelling of splendor, where God would live ‘within its midst’. This week’s Torah Parsha (TETZAVEH), begins with God speaking to Moses: […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH: TERUMAH (EXODUS 25:1-27:19)

In last week’s Torah Parsha (MISHPATIM), Moses provided clarification of the Ten Commandments, given to the Israelites, by God, at Mount Sinai. Additionally, the Children of Israel learned the nature of numerous other laws, commandments, prohibitions; and, the consequences for disobedience. This week’s Torah Parsha (TERUMAH), begins with God’s statement to Moses: “Speak to the […]

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 extension of these commandments. The result is […]

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 and unrepeated epiphany, appears before an […]

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 the ancient world – -the Egyptians, […]

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 burning bush); He had a grandiose […]

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 […]