Shelach Lecha 5777

June 13, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of June 11th, 2017

Num. 15:30        But the person, be he citizen or stranger, who acts defiantly [ביד רמה] reviles the Lord; that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has spurned the word of the Lord and violated His commandment, that person shall be cut off—he bears his guilt.

Rashi: Literally, “with a high hand”—deliberately rather than inadvertently.

This week’s handout:  37 Shelach Lecha 5777

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

See a picture of the “upraised hands” I mention in the podcast here.

And one from 2011 (1,000th coaching victory):

Beha’alotcha 5777

June 6, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of June 4th, 2017

“For every first-born among the Israelites, man as well as beast, is Mine; I consecrated them to Myself at the time that I smote every first-born in the land of Egypt. 18 Now I take the Levites instead of every first-born of the Israelites.” — Remind you of anything?

This week’s handout:  36 Beha’alotcha 5777

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

Naso 5777

May 30, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 28th, 2017

It’s Hanukkah — in May.  What “the dedication [offering]” is all about.

This week’s handout:  35 Naso 5777

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

Bemidbar 5777

May 23, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 21st, 2017

 

The (so-called) “structure of the book of Numbers.

Nili Fox: “It is often difficult to determine the relationship between contiguous segments.”

David Frankel: “Davies concludes that the book has no coherent structure at all.”

Jacob Milgrom: “The position of chapter 19 is an enigma.”

[etc.]

This week’s handout:  34 Bemidbar 5777

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

Behar-Behukkotai 5777

May 16, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 14th, 2017

Why does Lev 26:42 list the patriarchs in reverse order?  A symposium.

Bonus:  Rashi explains why the NJPS translation is wrong.

Lev. 26:42 Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob; I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land.

This week’s handout:  32-33 Behar-Behukkotai 5777

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

 

Emor 5777

May 9, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 7th, 2017

Lev. 23:42 You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens [אזרח] in Israel shall live in booths.

Rashi: All citizens in Israel. All citizens, and all those in Israel, including converts. [But is Rashi correct?]

This week’s handout:  31 Emor 5777

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5777

May 2, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 30th, 2017

What kind of “self-denial” does the Bible ask us to practice on Yom Kippur?  The real meaning of ve-innitem et nafshoteichem.

Lev. 16:29      And this shall be to you a law for all time: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall practice self-denial [תענו את נפשותיכם]; and you shall do no manner of work, neither the citizen nor the alien who resides among you. 30 For on this day atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you of all your sins; you shall be clean before the Lord. 31 It shall be a sabbath of complete rest for you, and you shall practice self-denial [ועניתם את נפשותיכם]; it is a law for all time.

This week’s handout:  29-30 Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5777

Baruch Schwartz, “Yom Ha-kippurim: The Biblical Significance” on thetorah.com

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

Tazria-Metzora 5777

April 25, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 23rd, 2017

 

The strange root צרע and the mysterious words (and names!) that derive from it.

Deut. 24:8

In cases of a skin affection [נגע צרעת] be most careful to do exactly as the levitical priests instruct you. Take care to do as I have commanded them.

This week’s handout:  27-28 Tazria-Metzora 5777

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

Shemini 5777

April 18, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 16th, 2017

Is a nesher an eagle or a vulture?  Is an ayit a vulture or an eagle?

Mic. 1:16

Shear off your hair and make yourself bald

For the children you once delighted in;

Make yourself as bald as a vulture,

For they have been banished from you.   [In fact, the only bald eagle is the American one, not known in biblical times.]

This week’s handout:   26 Shemini 5777

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/s78nbc

Recent update on Gamla:  http://asorblog.org/2017/05/30/gamla-excavations-final-report-rest-story/

Philologos: http://web.archive.org/web/20051128114929/http:/forward.com/issues/2000/00.10.20/arts4.html

R. Slifkin: http://zootorah.com/essays/the-identity-of-the-nesher

Word of the Day: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/features/.premium-1.589507

Balashon: http://www.balashon.com/2007/06/nesher-and-ayit.html

 

The Future of American Jewish Bible Translation

April 13, 2017

Since there’s no podcast this week (regular Torah readings resume after Passover NEXT Saturday, with Parshat Shmini), I thought it might be worth posting this notice for folks who are on the East Coast.  I’m chairing the afternoon session.  Click the link to register.  See you there!

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The Future of American Jewish Bible Translation

Sunday, April 30  •  9:30 am – 3:30 pm
At the Museum
Sponsored by The Jewish Publication SocietyCreighton University College of Arts and Sciences, and NMAJH
A special symposium in celebration of the 100th anniversary of The JPS Holy Scriptures, with many of the nation’s leading Bible scholars. After a look back at the last century, representatives from all the major rabbinical seminaries will discuss “Trends in Bible Scholarship and Translation” at the morning session. Scholars involved in the JPS Bible Commentary series will offer “Notes for a New Translation” at the afternoon session, that will also address the startling impact of the digital revolution in education and publishing.
Free, advance registration required

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