Bo 5778

January 16, 2018

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

Exod. 12:43  “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the law of the passover offering [זאת חקת הפסח].

But זאת חקת appears only twice elsewhere in the Torah.  What does it mean, and why is this a חוקה?

This week’s handout:  15 Bo 5778

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Va’era 5778

January 9, 2018

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

Ex. 7:10  Moses and Aaron came before Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded:

Aaron cast down his rod in the presence of Pharaoh and his courtiers, and it turned into a serpent [תנין].

But in Exod 4:3, we were told it was going to be a nahash, not a tannin.  What’s the difference?  (Hint: It’s bigger than you think!)

This week’s handout:  14 Va’era 5778

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Shemot 5778

January 2, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 31st, 2017

Exodus 2:1   A certain man of the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and she saw how beautiful he was [ותרא אותו כי טוב הוא] …

RASHI : How beautiful he was. When he was born, the whole house filled with light.

Where did Rashi get this notion from?  And what does it tell us about the book of Exodus as a whole?

This week’s handout:  13 Shemot 5778

Update from TheGemara.com: http://thegemara.com/when-moses-was-born-the-house-was-filled-with-light/.  I haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but I thought I’d better link to it while it was fresh.

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 Happy New Year to all!

 

Vayehi 5778

December 26, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 24th, 2017

Gen. 49:14

Issachar is a strong-boned ass,

Crouching among the sheepfolds.

15 When he saw how good was security,

And how pleasant was the country,

He bent his shoulder to the burden,

And became a toiling serf [מס עובד].

What exactly is a מס עובד … why does it mean “a toiling serf” … and why would Jacob “bless” his son this way?

This week’s handout:  12 Vayehi 5778

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חזק חזק ונתחזק! and Happy New Year to everyone!

Vayigash 5778

December 19, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 17th, 2017

Gen. 47:20  So Joseph gained possession of all the farm land of Egypt for Pharaoh, every Egyptian having sold his field because the famine was too much for them; thus the land passed over to Pharaoh.  21 And he removed the population town by town, [meaning of Hebrew uncertain] from one end of Egypt’s border to the other.

Is it העביר אתו לערים (MT) …

         העביר אתו לעבדים (Samaritan) …

    or העביד אתו לעבדים (the presumed original of the Greek text)?

This week’s handout:  11 Vayigash 5778

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https://mcarasik.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/why-were-the-israelites-enslaved/

Miketz 5778

December 12, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 10th, 2017 

Gen 42:9 Joseph said to them, “You are spies!”

Gen 42:14 Joseph said to them, “You are spies!”

Gen 42:16 Joseph said to them, “You are spies!”  (Chill out, Joe.)

What made Joseph insist on accusing his brothers of being spies?

This week’s handout:  10 Miketz 5778

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Happy Hanukkah to all!

Vayeshev 5778

December 5, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 3rd, 2017

Gen 37:26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not do away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 28 When Midianite traders passed by, they pulled Joseph up out of the pit. They sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who brought Joseph to Egypt.

Who pulled Joseph out of the pit, and who sold him to whom?

This week’s handout:  09 Vayeshev 5778

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Vayishlach 5778

November 28, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of November 26th, 2017

Gen 33:10 But Jacob said, “No, I pray you; if you would do me this favor, accept from me this gift; for to see your face is like seeing the face of God, and you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept my present which has been brought to you, for God has favored me and I have plenty.”

The crucial difference between “this gift” and “my present.”

This week’s handout:  08 Vayishlach 5778

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Vayetze 5778

November 21, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of November 19th, 2017

Gen 28:18 Early in the morning, Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.

Why did Jacob pour oil on the stone?

This week’s handout:  07 Vayetze 5778

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Toledot 5778

November 14, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of November 12th, 2017 

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. 26 Then his brother

emerged, holding on to the heel of Esau; so they named him Jacob.

Jacob’s name makes sense (in Hebrew) — but Esau’s doesn’t.  What’s up?

This week’s handout:  06 Toledot 5778

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