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

Bereshit 5779

October 2, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 30th, 2018

Gen. 1:1

  When God began to createa heaven and earth— 2 the earth being תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind fromb God sweeping over the water— 3 God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.c

What does תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ mean? 

NJPS:              unformed and void

KJV:                without form, and void

NRSV:             a formless void

LXX:              ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος  [“invisible and not properly prepared”]

Everett Fox:    wild and waste

Jack Sasson:    “Hodgepodge” [“Time … to Begin,” in Sha’arei Talmon,188]

This week’s handout:  01 Bereshit 5779
Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik
Learn Biblical Hebrew:https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

V’zot ha-Bracha 5778-79

September 25, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 23rd, 2018

Deut. 33:28

Thus Israel dwells in safety,

Untroubled is Jacob’s abode, בדד עין יעקב

In a land of grain and wine, אל-ארץ דגן ותירוש

Under heavens dripping dew.

What makes Jacob “untroubled,” and what is his “abode”?

This week’s handout:  54 V’zot ha-Bracha 5778-79
Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik
Learn Biblical Hebrew:https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Biblical Hebrew Starter Kit

September 18, 2018

In this post, I’m providing a “Biblical Hebrew Starter Kit” in the form of a PowerPoint presentation.

It is just the very first possible lesson in learning how to read Biblical Hebrew by decoding the letters and the vowels.

If you have any suggestions for improvement you can make them in the comments or e-mail them to me (see the sidebar).  And of course I’ll be grateful if you catch any mistakes.  But I most likely won’t be able to help with any technical problems (sorry).

Here’s the kit:

Biblical Hebrew Starter Kit

Happy learning!  And of course do feel free to share the kit as widely as possible!

Ha’azinu 5778-79

September 18, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 16th, 2018

Deut 32:4

The Rock!—His deeds are perfect,

Yea, all His ways are just;

A faithful God, never false,

True and upright is He.

What was “The Book of Jashar”?  According to Ed Greenstein, Deuteronomy 32:4 holds the answer.

This week’s handout:  53 Ha’azinu 5778-79
Read Ed Greenstein’s article here: https://www.academia.edu/31763287/WHAT_WAS_THE_BOOK_OF_YASHAR
Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik
Learn Biblical Hebrew:https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Vayelech 5778-79

September 11, 2018

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

Deut. 31:7  Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel: “Be strong and

resolute [חזק ואמץ], for it is you who shall go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their

fathers to give them.

Joshua is going to hear this phrase again 4 times in chapter 1 of his own book.

And guess who else is going to hear it?

This week’s handout:  52 Vayelech 5778-79
Click here for Ben Sommer’s column on Psalm 27 (לדוד).
Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik
Learn Biblical Hebrew:https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Nitzavim 5778

September 4, 2018

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

Deut. 29:27  “The LORD uprooted them from their soil in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as is still the case [כיום הזה].”

Why is the ל so big?  What does “as is still the case” mean?  “The LORD uprooted them” points us to an answer

This week’s handout:  51 Nitzavim 5778
Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik
Learn Biblical Hebrew:https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/biblical-hebrew-learning-a-sacred-language.html

Ki Tavo 5778

August 28, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of August 26th, 2018

Deut. 28:51 … leaving you nothing of new grain, wine, or oil [דגן תירוש ויצהר]

What are these three unusual words?  Why doesn’t this expression use the normal words for wine [יין] or oil [שמן]?

This week’s handout:  50 Ki Tavo 5778Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik

Learn Biblical Hebrew:

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

Ki Tetze 5778

August 21, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of August 19th, 2018

Deut. 22:6  If, along the road, you chance upon a bird’s nest, in any tree or on the ground, with fledglings or eggs and the mother sitting over the fledglings or on the eggs, do not take the mother together with her young. 7 Let the mother go, and take only the young, in order that you may fare well and have a long life.

The promise that you will “fare well and have a long life” for following this commandment invokes another commandment as well — and the Babylonian Talmud will tell us which one.

This week’s handout:  49 Ki Tetze 5778
Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasikLearn Biblical Hebrew:

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