Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5778

April 24, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 22nd, 2018

Lev. 18:21 Do not allow any of your offspring to be offered up to Molech, and do not profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

Jacob Milgrom: “But who is Molech?”

This week’s handout:  29-30 Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5778

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Tazria-Metzora 5778

April 17, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 15th, 2018

Lev. 6:2 This is the ritual of the burnt offering:

Lev. 6:7 And this is the ritual of the meal offering:

Lev. 6:18 This is the ritual of the sin offering:

Lev. 7:1 This is the ritual of the guilt offering:

So why is Lev 14:2 “This shall be the ritual for a leper”?  And who is the one commentator who evens asks that question?

This week’s handout:  27-28 Tazria-Metzora 5778

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Shemini 5778

March 27, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the weeks of March 25th and April 8th, 2018

Lev. 11:46      These are the instructions concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in water, and all creatures that swarm on earth, 47 for distinguishing between the unclean and the clean, between the living things that may be eaten and the living things that may not be eaten.

But why?  The High Priest supposedly explained it all to Aristeas …

This “week’s” handout:  26 Shemini 5778


Click here for Elli Fischer’s article about Azariah de Rossi and the Letter of Aristeas.

Click here for an online translation of the letter (also clickable from Fischer’s article).

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Tzav 5778

March 20, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of March 18th, 2018

Leviticus 1 – 5 describes the burnt offering, the meal offering, the whole offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering.  So does Leviticus 6-7!

What’s going on?  Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber, channeling R. David Tzvi Hoffman, explains.

This week’s handout:  25 Tzav 5778

For Zev Farber’s complete essay, click here: http://thetorah.com/this-is-the-torah-for-the-priests-performing-the-offerings/

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Vayikra 5778

March 13, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of March 11th, 2018

If you read the weekly parshiyot separately, some things are hidden from you.  The subject of the 1st verb in Leviticus — ויקרא אל משה — is actually at the end of the book of Exodus.

This week’s handout:  24 Vayikra 5778

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778

March 6, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of March 4th, 2018

God is the One who is “Enthroned on the Cherubim” — but not on those calves!  So … what exactly are cherubim?  William Propp says they are “griffins.”

This week’s handout:  22-23 Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778

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Ki Tisa 5778

February 27, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of February 25th, 2018

This week … the story of the Golden Calf.  Or do you say molten calf?

This week’s handout:  21 Ki Tisa 5778

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Tetzaveh 5778

February 20, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of February 18th, 2018

Ex. 27:20 You shall further instruct the Israelites [ואתה תצוה את בני ישראל] to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, for kindling lamps regularly.

Why doesn’t God just tell Moses, “Instruct the Israelites [צו את בני ישראל]” as He does elsewhere?

This week’s handout:  20 Tetzaveh 5778

Click here for R. Chaim Brovender’s talk (scroll down to 5774), which you can listen to or download — warning: It’s in Yeshivish.

Click here to go directly to the Hebrew sources R. Brovender provided, which focus on our question.

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Terumah 5778

February 13, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of February 11th, 2018

Nahum Sarna:  The Tabernacle was exactly half the size of Solomon’s Temple in length and width and one-third its height.

But there is another Temple described in the Bible, in the book of Ezekiel, plus innumerable temples on the ground — now, under it — in the nearby countries of the ancient Near East.  Victor Hurowitz tells us about some of them in this week’s episode.

This week’s handout:  19 Terumah 5778

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Watch Victor Hurowitz’s Library of Congress talk on Solomon’s Temple here.

Mishpatim 5778

February 6, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of February 4th, 2018

Exod. 21:5  But if the slave declares, “I love my master, and my wife and children: I do not wish to go free,” 6 his master shall take him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall then remain his slave for life.

Why is the slave’s ear pierced, and where did they get such an idea?  Victor Hurowitz (ז”ל) has an answer.

This week’s handout:  18 Mishpatim 5778

Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik