Naso 5778

May 22, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 20th, 2018

Num. 5:12 If any man’s wife has gone astray [כי-תשטה אשתו] and broken faith with him …

“Going astray” is a familiar biblical topic — and so is a woman cheating on her husband.  But the verb used for it in this passage about the “sotah” is extremely rare.  Where else does it occur?

This week’s handout:  35 Naso 5778

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Bemidbar 5778

May 15, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 13th, 2018

Num. 3:7 They shall perform duties for him and for the whole community before the Tent of Meeting, doing the work of the Tabernacle.

But how can the Tabernacle and the Tent of Meeting be the same thing when the Tent of Meeting existed — OUTSIDE the camp — before the Tabernacle was created?

This week’s handout:  34 Bemidbar 5778

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Behar-Behukkotai 5778

May 8, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 6th, 2018

Lev. 27:2-3 … When anyone explicitly vows to the Lord the equivalent for a human being [בערכך נפשות], the following scale shall apply.

But what is an ערכך?

This week’s handout:  32-33 Behar-Behukkotai 5778

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Emor 5778

May 1, 2018

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

Lev. 23:5   In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the Lord, 6 and on the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread. You shall eat unleavened bread for seven days.

Two holidays in one!

This week’s handout:  31 Emor 5778

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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

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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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