Posts Tagged ‘Moses’

Yitro 5779

January 22, 2019

This is Torah Talk for the week of January 20th, 2019

Exod. 18:13  Next day, Moses sat as magistrate among the people, while the people stood about Moses from morning until evening.

Exod. 21:1           These are the rules that you shall set before them.

What was Moses ruling on in chapter 18?

This week’s handout:  17 yitro 5779

Read Chaim Saiman’s essay here.

See his new book and a Q & A with him here.

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Shemot 5779

December 25, 2018

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

Exod. 3:11  But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and free the Israelites from Egypt?”

How many questions is Moses asking — one or two?

This week’s handout:  13 Shemot 5779

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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).
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Mattot-Masei 5778

July 10, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 8th, 2018

Num. 28:7  The libation with it shall be a quarter of a hin for each lamb, to be poured in the sacred precinct as an offering of fermented drink [שכר] to the LORD. 8The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, preparing the same meal offering and libation as in the morning—an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the LORD.

Num. 32:33  Moses assigned to them—to the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph—the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of King Og of Bashan.

Wait a minute … how did the half-tribe of Manasseh get in on this deal?

This week’s handout:  42-43 Mattot-Masei 5778

Read Baruch Schwartz’s essay on


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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



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  I haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but I thought I’d better link to it while it was fresh.


Pre-order the Genesis volume of the Commentators’ Bible!

 Happy New Year to all!


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


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



Vayakhel-Pekudei 5777

March 21, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of March 19th, 2017

How the creation of the Tabernacle matches the creation of the world — and WHY.


Jeffrey Tigay, “Exodus,” Jewish Study Bible

Thus was completed all the work of the Tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting (Exod 39:32):  The phraseology (see also 40:33 n.) alludes to the completion of the creation of the world in Gen. 2:1, 3, one of several echoes of the Priestly source’s account of creation here in the Priestly account of the creation of the Tabernacle (see 25:1–31:17 n.).

This week’s handout:  22-23 Vayakhel-Pekudei 5777


Yitro 5777

February 14, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of February 12th, 2017

How is Jethro portrayed in Exodus 18 — and why?

(Ed Greenstein on “Jethro’s Wit”)

This week’s handout:  17-yitro-5777