Posts Tagged ‘Rashi’

Hayyei Sarah 5779

October 30, 2018

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

Gen. 25:5  Abraham willed all that he owned to Isaac; 6 but to Abraham’s sons by concubines Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and he sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the East.

Wait … what exactly is a concubine? 

This week’s handout:  05 Hayyei Sarah 5779

Learn Biblical Hebrew:

Lech Lecha 5779

October 16, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 14th, 2018

Gen. 12:2

I will make of you a great nation,

And I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

And you shall be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you

And curse him that curses you;

And all the families of the earth

Shall bless themselves by you.”

What is Gen 12:3 really saying — and what is the bigger issue? 

This week’s handout:  03 Lech Lecha 5779
Learn Biblical Hebrew:

Bereshit 5779

October 2, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 30th, 2018

Gen. 1:1

  When God began to createa heaven and earth— 2 the earth being תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind fromb God sweeping over the water— 3 God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.c

What does תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ mean? 

NJPS:              unformed and void

KJV:                without form, and void

NRSV:             a formless void

LXX:              ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος  [“invisible and not properly prepared”]

Everett Fox:    wild and waste

Jack Sasson:    “Hodgepodge” [“Time … to Begin,” in Sha’arei Talmon,188]

This week’s handout:  01 Bereshit 5779
Learn Biblical Hebrew:

V’zot ha-Bracha 5778-79

September 25, 2018

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

Deut. 33:28

Thus Israel dwells in safety,

Untroubled is Jacob’s abode, בדד עין יעקב

In a land of grain and wine, אל-ארץ דגן ותירוש

Under heavens dripping dew.

What makes Jacob “untroubled,” and what is his “abode”?

This week’s handout:  54 V’zot ha-Bracha 5778-79
Learn Biblical Hebrew:

Ha’azinu 5778-79

September 18, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 16th, 2018

Deut 32:4

The Rock!—His deeds are perfect,

Yea, all His ways are just;

A faithful God, never false,

True and upright is He.

What was “The Book of Jashar”?  According to Ed Greenstein, Deuteronomy 32:4 holds the answer.

This week’s handout:  53 Ha’azinu 5778-79
Read Ed Greenstein’s article here:
Learn Biblical Hebrew:

Nitzavim 5778

September 4, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of September 2nd, 2018

Deut. 29:27  “The LORD uprooted them from their soil in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as is still the case [כיום הזה].”

Why is the ל so big?  What does “as is still the case” mean?  “The LORD uprooted them” points us to an answer

This week’s handout:  51 Nitzavim 5778
Learn Biblical Hebrew:

Re’eh 5778

August 7, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of August 5th, 2018

Deut. 13:13 If you hear it said, of one of the towns that the LORD your God is giving you to dwell in, 14 that some scoundrels from among you have gone and subverted the inhabitants of their town, saying, “Come let us worship other gods”—whom you have not experienced— 15 you shall investigate and inquire and interrogate thoroughly [ודרשת וחקרת ושאלת היטב] If it is true, the fact is established—that abhorrent thing was perpetrated in your midst— 16 put the inhabitants of that town to the sword and put its cattle to the sword. Doom it and all that is in it to destruction.

What does חקר mean, and why and how should we do it?

This week’s handout:  47 Re’eh 5778


Learn Biblical Hebrew:

Ekev 5778

July 31, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 29th, 2018

Deut 7:15  The LORD will ward off from you all sickness; He will not bring upon you any of the dreadful diseases of Egypt [מדוי מצרים], about which you know, but will inflict them upon all your enemies.

What are the “diseases of Egypt,” and what does this promise imply?

This week’s handout:  46 Ekev 5778


Learn Biblical Hebrew:

Devarim 5778

July 17, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 15th, 2018

Deut 3:1  We made our way up the road toward Bashan [ונפן ונעל דרך הבשן] …

What does it mean to go UP the road?  Rashi has the answer … or at least AN answer.

This week’s handout:  44 Devarim 5778


Learn Biblical Hebrew:

Pinchas 5778

July 3, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 1st, 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.

But what is שכר?

This week’s handout:  41 Pinchas 5778

Read Elaine Goodfriend’s essay on


Learn Biblical Hebrew: