A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: KI TAVO (DEUTERONOMY 26:1-29:8)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   This week’s parsha, Ki Tavo, begins with instructions from Moses to the Children of Israel. They are directed that on the very day that they cross the Jordan, to create two huge stones on which each word of the Torah will be clearly written. At that point, The […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: KI TEITZEI (DEUTERONOMY 21:10-25:19)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   This week’s Torah parsha, Ki Teitzei, occurs as the Children of Israel are at the brink of embarking on war with hostile nations, as they tirelessly struggle to reach the ‘Promised Land.’ The parsha comprises seventy-four of the Torah’s six hundred and thirteen commandments. The separate commandments pertaining […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: SHOFTIM (DEUTERONOMY 16:18-21:9)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   In previous parshiot we learned how God began preparing for the establishment of a new nation in the ‘Promised Land.’ Equal portions of the land were allotted, according to the population of each of the tribes. Last week’s Torah parsha, Re’eh, emphasized the importance of ‘tzedakah’ (charity), whereby […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: RE’EH (DEUTERONOMY 11:26-16:17)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   “See, I am setting before you today the blessing and the curse: the blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your GOD, which I am giving to you today; the curse if you disobey the commandments of the Lord, your GOD”(1). These are the first words […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: EKEV (DEUTERONOMY 7:12-11:25)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   In this week’s parsha, Ekev, Moses continues his closing address to the Children of Israel, which he began in parsha Devarim, and expanded upon in last week’s parsha. Moses clearly was aware of the risks for this new generation. They may not remember the miracles, which God had […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: V’ETCHANAN (DEUTERONOMY 3:23-7:11)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   In last week’s Torah parsha, Devarim, we heard the words of Moses as he explained to the Children of Israel the sins and transgressions committed by their ancestors, with the consequence that God banned them from entering the ‘Promised Land.’ He also explained why he also would not […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: DEVARIM (DEUTERONOMY 1:1-3:21)

This week’s Torah parsha, Devarim, is the first in the last book of the Torah, Deuteronomy. The entire book denotes a major shift from each of the four earlier Books. We read how Moses was the liaison between God’s Word and the Israelites, served as their leader and teacher for over forty years and was […]

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

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   This week, we read a double parshiot, Matot-Massei, which comprises 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 incoherent directives and laws. The first of the parshiot, Matot, begins […]

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

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   Last week’s Torah parsha, Balak, was fanciful, surreal and ended 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 of narratives, […]

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

By Joy Scott, Am Hasklah 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 […]