A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: CHUKAT (NUMBERS 19:1-22:1)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week, we read a double Parshiot (CHUKAT), followed by Parsha (BALAK). In an almost imperceptible yet seismic shift, each of these Parshiot leap several decades ahead of our most recent Torah reading; and, the narrative of each read like a riddle inside of a riddle. The Torah Parsha […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BALAK (NUMBERS 22:2-25:9)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Parsha BALAK begins with the Israelites continuing their journey to Canaan. They have already defeated their enemies in many nations; and, have settled their next encampment on the border of Moab. Based on the victories the Israelites had achieved in other nations, Balak, the King of Moab was justified […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: KORACH (NUMBERS 16:1-18:32)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah Parsha (SHELACH), twelve ‘spies’, after scouting the land of Canaan for forty days, returned with a blatantly exaggerated falsehood, pertaining to the strength and size of the inhabitants. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, the other ten men rejected the assumption that the people […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: SHELACH (NUMBERS 13:1-15:41)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah parsha (BEHAALOTECHA), we read about the Israelite’s turbulent saga of disillusionment, with their way of life in the desert. This week’s parsha (SHELACH) takes a new and momentarily promising turn, with a look towards the future. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Send out men, […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BEHAALOTECHA (NUMBERS 8:1-12:16)

Shortly after a year of being rescued from Egypt, this week’s Torah Parsha (BEHAALOTECHA) provides a glimpse into Moses’ psyche, as well as the state of mind of the Israelites. The Children of Israel have just learned that via God’s instructions to Moses, they will soon be leaving Mount Sinai, to journey further into the […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: NASO (NUMBERS 4:21-7:89)

This week’s Torah Parsha (NASO) begins with a continuation of 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 the Tabernacle. With 176 verses, NASO is both the longest portion of the Torah, and the […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BAMIDAR (NUMBERS 1:1-4:20)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Last week, we concluded the reading of the Book of LEVITICUS, with the reading of Parsha (BECHUKOTAI). This week, we begin the Book of NUMBERS, with plans to dismantle the Tabernacle, and to re-build it further into the wilderness. In the second year of the EXODUS, God spoke to […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: MATOT-MASSEI (NUMBERS 30:2-36:13)

This week, we read a double Parshiot (MATOT-MASSEI), which consolidate to comprise the finale of the Book of NUMBERS. The contents of these Parshiot are remarkable for the discontinuity of the narrative; the paradoxical elements of God’s commandments; and, seemingly incoherent directives and laws. The first of the Parshiot (MATOT) begins with Moses speaking to […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: PINCHAS (NUMBERS 25:10-30:1)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   Last week’s Torah Parsha (BALAK) was somewhat fanciful and surreal; although, ending in tragedy, when thousands of Israelites lost their lives, as a consequence of being lured into illicit relations with the Moabite women. Parsha (PINCHAS) transitions to more serious themes, which include not just a diverse set […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BALAK (NUMBERS 22:2-25:9)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Parsha (BALAK) begins with the Israelites continuing their journey to Canaan. They have already defeated their enemies in many nations; and, have settled their next encampment on the border of Moab. Based on the victories the Israelites had achieved in other nations, Balak, the King of Moab was justified […]