Posts Tagged ‘Rashbam’

Vayikra 5778

March 13, 2018

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

If you read the weekly parshiyot separately, some things are hidden from you.  The subject of the 1st verb in Leviticus — ויקרא אל משה — is actually at the end of the book of Exodus.

This week’s handout:  24 Vayikra 5778



Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778

March 6, 2018

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

God is the One who is “Enthroned on the Cherubim” — but not on those calves!  So … what exactly are cherubim?  William Propp says they are “griffins.”

This week’s handout:  22-23 Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778


Tetzaveh 5778

February 20, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of February 18th, 2018

Ex. 27:20 You shall further instruct the Israelites [ואתה תצוה את בני ישראל] to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, for kindling lamps regularly.

Why doesn’t God just tell Moses, “Instruct the Israelites [צו את בני ישראל]” as He does elsewhere?

This week’s handout:  20 Tetzaveh 5778

Click here for R. Chaim Brovender’s talk (scroll down to 5774), which you can listen to or download — warning: It’s in Yeshivish.

Click here to go directly to the Hebrew sources R. Brovender provided, which focus on our question.


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


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


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

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



Re’eh 5777

August 15, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of August 13th, 2017

Deut. 15:18

When you do set him free, do not feel aggrieved; for in the six years he has given you double the

service of a hired man.

RASHI : Double the service of a hired man. From this verse the Sages derive that a Hebrew

slave may be asked to serve his master both during the day and at night; that is “double” what

one may require of a hired man. What kind of “service” does he do at night? His master provides

him with one of his Canaanite slave women; whatever offspring they produce belong to the


This week’s handout:  47 Re’eh 5777


Mattot-Masei 5777

July 18, 2017

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

  • Num. 35:10 Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 you shall provide yourselves with places to serve you as cities of refuge to which a manslayer who has killed a person unintentionally [רוצח מכה נפש בשגגה] may flee.

This week’s handout:  42-43 Mattot-Masei 5777


Click here for Marty Lockshin’s column on

Balak 5777

July 4, 2017

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 2nd, 2017

Num. 23:23 Is it …

“Lo, there is no augury in Jacob, No divining in Israel” (JPS), or

“There is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel” (KJV)?

This week’s handout:  40 Balak 5777