Terumah 5778

February 13, 2018

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

Nahum Sarna:  The Tabernacle was exactly half the size of Solomon’s Temple in length and width and one-third its height.

But there is another Temple described in the Bible, in the book of Ezekiel, plus innumerable temples on the ground — now, under it — in the nearby countries of the ancient Near East.  Victor Hurowitz tells us about some of them in this week’s episode.

This week’s handout:  19 Terumah 5778

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Watch Victor Hurowitz’s Library of Congress talk on Solomon’s Temple here.

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Mishpatim 5778

February 6, 2018

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

Exod. 21:5  But if the slave declares, “I love my master, and my wife and children: I do not wish to go free,” 6 his master shall take him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall then remain his slave for life.

Why is the slave’s ear pierced, and where did they get such an idea?  Victor Hurowitz (ז”ל) has an answer.

This week’s handout:  18 Mishpatim 5778

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Yitro 5778

January 30, 2018

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

In Exodus 18:13-26, Moses’ father-in-law Jethro tells him to appoint judges — just like Jehoshaphat?  (Jaeyoung Jeon thinks so.)

This week’s handout:  17 Yitro 5778

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Beshalach 5778

January 23, 2018

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

Exod. 14:13  But Moses said to the people, “Have no fear! Stand by, and witness the deliverance which the

Lord will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today [כי אשר ראיתם את מצרים היום] you will never see again.”

But is that what כי אשר ראיתם את מצרים היום really means?  And why would Moses say such a thing?

This week’s handout:  16 Beshalach 5778

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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!