Shoftim 5778

August 14, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of August 12th, 2018

Deut. 18:6      If a Levite would go, from any of the settlements throughout Israel where he has been residing, to the place that the LORD has chosen, he may do so whenever he pleases. 7 He may serve in the name of the LORD his God like all his fellow Levites who are there in attendance before the LORD. 8 They shall receive equal shares of the dues, bwithout regard to personal gifts or patrimonies.b                                                      bMeaning of Heb. uncertain.

What really IS the meaning of that “uncertain Hebrew,” לבד ממכריו על-האבות?  Must we emend the text here, or does it just “mean” what we think without emendation?

This week’s handout:  48 Shoftim 5778Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik

Learn Biblical Hebrew:

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Advertisements

Re’eh 5778

August 7, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of August 5th, 2018

Deut. 13:13 If you hear it said, of one of the towns that the LORD your God is giving you to dwell in, 14 that some scoundrels from among you have gone and subverted the inhabitants of their town, saying, “Come let us worship other gods”—whom you have not experienced— 15 you shall investigate and inquire and interrogate thoroughly [ודרשת וחקרת ושאלת היטב] If it is true, the fact is established—that abhorrent thing was perpetrated in your midst— 16 put the inhabitants of that town to the sword and put its cattle to the sword. Doom it and all that is in it to destruction.

What does חקר mean, and why and how should we do it?

This week’s handout:  47 Re’eh 5778

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

Learn Biblical Hebrew:

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Ekev 5778

July 31, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 29th, 2018

Deut 7:15  The LORD will ward off from you all sickness; He will not bring upon you any of the dreadful diseases of Egypt [מדוי מצרים], about which you know, but will inflict them upon all your enemies.

What are the “diseases of Egypt,” and what does this promise imply?

This week’s handout:  46 Ekev 5778

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

Learn Biblical Hebrew:

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Va-etchanan 5778

July 24, 2018

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

Deut 5:23/26  For what mortal ever heard the voice of the living God [קול אלהים חיים] speak out of the fire, as we did, and lived?

What does it mean to call God “living”?

This week’s handout:  45 Va-etchanan 5778

Read Tzvi Sinensky’s article here.

See the intersection of Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai on Google Maps!

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

Learn Biblical Hebrew:

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Devarim 5778

July 17, 2018

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

Deut 3:1  We made our way up the road toward Bashan [ונפן ונעל דרך הבשן] …

What does it mean to go UP the road?  Rashi has the answer … or at least AN answer.

This week’s handout:  44 Devarim 5778

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

Learn Biblical Hebrew:

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Mattot-Masei 5778

July 10, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 8th, 2018

Num. 28:7  The libation with it shall be a quarter of a hin for each lamb, to be poured in the sacred precinct as an offering of fermented drink [שכר] to the LORD. 8The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, preparing the same meal offering and libation as in the morning—an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the LORD.

Num. 32:33  Moses assigned to them—to the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph—the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of King Og of Bashan.

Wait a minute … how did the half-tribe of Manasseh get in on this deal?

This week’s handout:  42-43 Mattot-Masei 5778

Read Baruch Schwartz’s essay on thetorah.com: http://thetorah.com/when-moses-placed-ephraim-before-manasseh/

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

Learn Biblical Hebrew: https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Pinchas 5778

July 3, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 1st, 2018

Num. 28:7  The libation with it shall be a quarter of a hin for each lamb, to be poured in the sacred precinct as an offering of fermented drink [שכר] to the LORD. 8The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, preparing the same meal offering and libation as in the morning—an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the LORD.

But what is שכר?

This week’s handout:  41 Pinchas 5778

Read Elaine Goodfriend’s essay on thetorah.com: http://thetorah.com/shekhar-is-it-wine-or-beer/

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

Learn Biblical Hebrew: https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Balak 5778

June 26, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of June 24th, 2018

And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass.  A Tanna taught on the authority of R. Simeon b. Eleazar: אהבה מבטלת שורה של גדולה.  Love disregards the rule of dignified conduct.  [This is deduced] from Abraham, for it is written, “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass.”  Hate likewise disregards the rule of dignified conduct: [this is deduced] from Balaam, for it is written, “And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass.” [b. Sanhedrin 105b]

Are the stories of Balaam and of the Binding of Isaac connected?  Yes!

This week’s handout:  40 Balak 5778

Learn Biblical Hebrew: https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

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

Hukkat 5778

June 19, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of June 17th, 2018

Num. 21:27-30 is a poem in praise of an Amorite king, Sihon — whom Israel has just conquered!  What is this poem doing in the Bible?

This week’s handout: 39 Hukkat 5778

Click here to read Liz Bloch-Smith’s article “When Did ‘Fire Go Forth from Heshbon’?”

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

Korah 5778

June 12, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of June 10th, 2018

Num. 17:25   The LORD said to Moses, “Put Aaron’s staff back before the Pact, to be kept as a lesson to rebels, so that their mutterings against Me may cease, lest they die.” 26 This Moses did; just as the LORD had commanded him, so he did.

But … what happened to it, and to the jar of manna that was supposedly also there?

This week’s handout: 38 Korah 5778

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