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)

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 the Tabernacle. With 176 verses, […]

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

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, […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BECHUKOTAI (LEVITICUS 26:3-27:34)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant The final Parsha, BECHUKOTA, in the Book of LEVITICUS begins with stunning clarity of the terms of Jewish life under the covenant. In the first part, there is an idyllic picture of the blessing of Divine favor. If the Israelites follow God’s decrees and keep His commandments, there will […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BEHAR (LEVITICUS 25:1-26:2)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah, Congregant This week, as we near the end of the Book of Leviticus, we read the next to last Parsha in this Book. The primary themes of Parsha (BEHAR) are laws and commandments, pertaining to freedom, equality, and charity with ‘dignity’. The Lord spoke to Moses and said: “Tell the […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: EMOR (LEVITICUS 21:1-24:3)

EMOR (LEVITICUS 21:1-24:3) By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah, Congregant This week’s Torah Parsha (EMOR) begins with God saying to Moses: “Speak to the Kohanim; and, say that none of them can become defiled; impure; or, ceremonially unclean; by touching a dead person, unless the one who died is a wife, or a blood relative”(1). The […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: KEDOSHIM (LEVITICUS 19:1-20:27)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Torah Parsha (KEDOSHIM) begins with the momentous call: “You shall be holy because I, the Lord, your God am holy” (1). This statement is followed by repetition of dozens of ‘Divine’ commandments, which would enable the Israelites to consecrate their holy relationship with God. This Parsha is […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: ACHAREI MOT (LEVITICUS 16:1-18:30)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant The Parsha, which we read this week, is ACHAREI MOT. The primary focus of the Parsha pertains to the ancient rituals of the very first ‘Day of Atonement’. During the period of MISHNAH (i.e. the first major redaction of the Oral Torah) in the second century, the Jewish calendar […]