Hayyei Sarah 5778

November 7, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of November 5th, 2017 

Gen. 23:1  Sarah’s lifetime—the span of Sarah’s life—came to one hundred and twenty-seven years.

2 Sarah died in Kiriath-arba—now Hebron—in the land of Canaan.

What does Kiriath-arba mean, and why does Hebron have two names?

This week’s handout:  05 Hayyei Sarah 5778

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Vayera 5778

October 31, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 29th, 2017 

Gen. 20:14            Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham; and he restored his wife Sarah to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Here, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” 16 And to Sarah he said, “I herewith give your brother a thousand pieces of silver; this will serve you as vindication before all who are with you, and you are cleared before everyone.”


This week’s handout:  04 Vayera 5778

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Lech Lecha 5778

October 24, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 22nd, 2017 

Gen 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar.

This week’s handout:  03 Lech Lecha 5778

Donate: https://www.paypal.me/mcarasik

Noach 5778

October 17, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 15th, 2017 

Gen. 11:7 Let us, then, go down and confound [ונבלה] their speech there

Gen. 11:9 That is why it was called Babel [בבל]

there the Lord confounded [בלל] the speech of the whole earth

This week’s handout: 02 Noach 5778

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Bereshit 5778

October 10, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 8th, 2017 

Gen. 3:5 [NJPS] God knows that as soon as you eat of it [then] your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings who know good and bad.

Gen. 3:5 [NRSV] God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and [then] you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

This week’s handout:  01 Bereshit 5778

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V’zot ha-Bracha 5777-78

October 3, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 1st, 2017 

מימינו אשדת למו

Deut. 33:2

The Lord came from Sinai;

He shone upon them from Seir;

He appeared from Mount Paran,

And approached from Ribeboth-kodesh,

Lightning flashing at them from His right.b

b Meaning of Heb. mimino eshdath uncertain, perhaps a place name.

Masorah:      This is one of 15 cases where the written text has a single word that is to be read out loud as two words.

This week’s handout:  54 V’zot ha-Bracha 5777-78

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Ha’azinu 5777-78

September 19, 2017

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

Deut. 32:44    Moses came, together with Hosea son of Nun, and recited all the words of this poem in the hearing of the people.

The poem is Ha’azinu … but why is Joshua called Hosea?

Note:  I mistakenly said on the podcast that we would be reading Ha’azinu for a second week — but since Saturday afternoon September 23rd we have been “in” Parshat V’Zot Ha-Bracha.  That podcast, however, remains scheduled for Oct. 3rd, in time for the full reading on Oct. 5th or 6th (depending on which calendar you follow).

This week’s handout:  53 Ha’azinu 5777-78

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


Nitzavim-Vayelech 5777

September 12, 2017

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

Deut. 30:1

When all these things befall you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart amidst the various nations to which the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God, and you and your children heed His command with all your heart and soul, just as I enjoin upon you this day, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunesa and take you back in love.

But is “then” in the right place?  Marc Brettler doesn’t think so.

This week’s handout:  51-52 Nitzavim-Vayelech 5777

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

Ki Tavo 5777

September 5, 2017

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

Deut. 26:9      [The Lord] brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

But what is “this place”?

This week’s handout:  50 Ki Tavo 5777

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

Ki Tetze 5777

August 29, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of August 27th, 2017

The congregation of the Lord (Deut 23:2) served as the national governing body, akin to a popular legislature, that was charged with a broad range of judicial, political, and policy matters (Judg. 20:2). – Bernard Levinson, Jewish Study Bible

This week’s handout:  49 Ki Tetze 5777

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