Vayigash 5779

December 11, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 9th, 2018

Gen. 47:23  Then Joseph said to the people, “Whereas I have this day acquired you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you to sow the land. 24  And when harvest comes, you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths [ארבע הידות] shall be yours.

What do fractions have to do with “hands,” and why are they yadot [ידות] and not yadayim [ידיים]?

This week’s handout:  11 Vayigash 5779

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Miketz 5779

December 4, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 2nd, 2018

Gen. 43:3  Judah said to him, “The man warned us, a‘Do not let me see your facesunless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will let our brother go with us, we will go down and procure food for you; 5 but if you will not let him go, we will not go down, for the man said to us, a‘Do not let me see your facesunless your brother is with you.’”      aLit. “Do not see my face.”

What is the big deal about seeing Joseph’s face?

This week’s handout:  10 Miketz 5779

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Vayeshev 5779

November 27, 2018

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

Gen. 38:1 About that time Judah left his brothers and camped near a certain Adullamite whose

name was Hirah. 2 There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua …

Is Shua the father’s name or the daughter’s name?

Was he really a Canaanite?

What does Shua mean, anyway?

It all matters because 1 Chr 3:5 calls Solomon’s mother not Bathsheba, but … Bathshua.

This week’s handout:  09 Vayeshev 5779

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Vayishlach 5779

November 20, 2018

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

Gen. 32:33  That is why the children of Israel to this day do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the

socket of the hip, since Jacob’s hip socket was wrenched at the thigh muscle.

Is this a commandment, or just a bit of ethnography?

This week’s handout:  08 Vayishlach 5779

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Vayetze 5779

November 13, 2018

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

Gen. 31:38  “These twenty years I have spent in your service, your ewes and she-goats never

miscarried, nor did I feast on rams from your flock. 39 That which was torn by beasts I never

brought to you; I myself made good the loss; you exacted it of me, whether snatched by day or

snatched by night.

“A fine picture of the ideal shepherd” … or full of allusions to the intricate plot that is leading the Israelites to slavery in Egypt?

This week’s handout: 07 Vayetze 5779

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Toledot 5779

November 6, 2018

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

Gen. 25:24 When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first one emerged red, like a hairy mantle all over; so they named him Esau.c

Since the verse doesn’t really explain it … what does “Esau” actually mean?  Listener Haim Roitman thinks he knows.

This week’s handout:  06 Toledot 5779

Haim Roitman’s essay:  Haim Roitgrund-Cain & Abel v Jacob & Esau

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Hayyei Sarah 5779

October 30, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 28th, 2018

Gen. 25:5  Abraham willed all that he owned to Isaac; 6 but to Abraham’s sons by concubines Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and he sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the East.

Wait … what exactly is a concubine? 

This week’s handout:  05 Hayyei Sarah 5779

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Vayera 5779

October 23, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 21st, 2018

Gen. 22:9          They arrived at the place of which God had told him. Abraham built an altar there; he laid out the wood; he bound his son Isaac; he laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  10 And Abraham picked up the knife to slay his son.

What’s wrong with this picture? 

This week’s handout:  04 Vayera 5779

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Lech Lecha 5779

October 16, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 14th, 2018

Gen. 12:2

I will make of you a great nation,

And I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

And you shall be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you

And curse him that curses you;

And all the families of the earth

Shall bless themselves by you.”

What is Gen 12:3 really saying — and what is the bigger issue? 

This week’s handout:  03 Lech Lecha 5779
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Noach 5779

October 9, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 7th, 2018

Gen. 6:17          “For My part, I am about to bring the Flood [הַמַּבּ֥וּל] —waters upon the earth.”

What exactly is a מַּבּ֥וּל, and where did that word come from?

This week’s handout:  02 Noach 5779
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