Personal Parsha

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Personal Parsha: Bo. A Jewish Slave in Egypt

Imagine you are a Jewish slave, and you are so excited about Moshe’s plan to take you out of Egypt in 2 weeks! Moshe explains all of the rules for the Pascal lamb sacrifice (has to be done on the 14th of Nissan, roasted whole, blood painted on the doorposts, etc.) and then he mentions that you cannot break the bones (to suck marrow or lick every inch) as you eat it. That seems very specific! Why is there such a prohibition? What would you think is the significance of that detail?

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Personal Parsha: Va’Ayra. Paroah

In this week’s Torah reading, Pharoah makes a conscious effort to ignore the awesome display of power that God brings to Egypt via Moshe and Aaron. Right after the plague of blood, in Chapter 7 verse 23 we are told that Pharoah “turned away and went into his house and did not pay attention to” – literally “place his heart” – to this plague.

Shmot, Torah, VaAyra|0 Comments

Personal Parsha: VaYichi. Reuven

Define “a blessing.” How would you bless your child or your parent?

Personal Parsha: Yosef. VaYigash.

After weeks of “keeping a secret,” Yosef can’t do it anymore! In this week’s parsha, Yosef (finally) reveals himself to his brothers.

Personal Parsha: VaYishlach. Devorah

What does it take to get recorded in the Bible? How does one get his or her name into this eternal book of history, lessons and law of the Jewish People? Although we are never told the names of Noah’s wife, Lot’s wife, or Aharon’s wife, we ARE told the name of the wet-nurse that Rebecca had, the woman who helped raise Jacob. Her name was Devorah, and her death is told to us in Chapter 35, verse 8. She was buried in Beit-El, under a big tree (maybe a famous landmark) and that tree was called “The tree of weeping” forever after!

Personal Parsha: Toldot. Esav

How do you think you deal with life’s disappointments? Go around the table and give an example of a disappointment you experienced this week.

Bereshit, Toldot, Torah|0 Comments

Personal Parsha: VaYikra. A Sinner

In this week’s Torah reading, we read about the korban chatat, sin-offering, that one must bring to the altar if he/she commits a sin. The interesting thing about this offering is that it is brought when a transgression was committed by accident – unintentionally. Why should someone have to bring a sacrifice (and spend a lot of money too!) if it was “just by accident”? Why are we punished for a mistake?

Torah, VaYikra, VaYikra|0 Comments

Personal Parsha: Tzav. The Kohain that takes the garbage out

In this week’s Torah reading, we learn about a very interesting mitzvah, called Terumat haDeshen (see 6:3), the removal of the altar’s ashes each morning.

Torah, Tzav, VaYikra|0 Comments

Personal Parsha: Shmini. Aharon’s Silence

In this week’s parsha, we have a tragedy that defies our understanding. After the week of orientation/inauguration for the tabernacle, the priests, Nadav and Avihu – Aharon’s sons – do something wrong (it is not clear whether they violated a rule, or just did something not commanded or overstepped their role) and God strikes them down. They die on the spot. Everyone’s in shock and Aharon, their father and THE High priest is just silent (see Chapter 10, verse 3).

Shmini, Torah, VaYikra|0 Comments

Personal Parsha: Emor. The Priest.

In this week’s Torah reading, the opening verse seems to contain double language: “Say to the priests and say to them…” Why is Moshe being told “say it” twice?

Emor, Torah, VaYikra|0 Comments