A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: PEKUDEI (EXODUS 38:21-40-38)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   Pekudei is the last chapter in the Book of Exodus. For the fourth time, as in parshiot Tetzaveh, Terumah and Vayakhel, we again read a tedious repetition of the inventory of all the equipment used in the building and decorating of the Sanctuary: “These are the records of […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: VAYAKHEL (EXODUS 35:1 – 38:20)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   This week, we read parsha Vayakhel, which is replete with contradictions and multiple interpretations. The first enigma is the question of why it exists at all. In both parshiot Terumah and Tetzaveh, we read descriptions of every one of the Sanctuary’s dozens of components, as dictated by God […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: KI TISA (EXODUS 30:11-34:35)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant    This week’s Torah parsha, Ki Tisa, begins on Mount Sinai, where God is relating to Moses some rather benign instructions pertaining to the final particulars to complete the Holy Sanctuary. It is expected that Moses will remain at the top of the mountain for another forty days. Here, […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: TETZAVEH (EXODUS 27:20-30:10)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   The primary theme of last week’s Torah parsha, Terumah, was the building of the Mishkan (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, […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: TERUMAH (EXODUS 25:1-27:19)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant   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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BO (EXODUS 10:1-13:16)

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 […]