Posts Tagged ‘Rashi’

Beha’alotcha 5778

May 29, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 27th, 2018

Num. 8:2

Moses is told to instruct Aaron, “When you mount the lamps, let the seven lamps give light at the front of the lampstand.”

But what does אל-מול פני המנורה really mean?  And where is the one surprising place it’s used outside of priestly literature?

This week’s handout:  36 Beha’alotcha 5778



Naso 5778

May 22, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 20th, 2018

Num. 5:12 If any man’s wife has gone astray [כי-תשטה אשתו] and broken faith with him …

“Going astray” is a familiar biblical topic — and so is a woman cheating on her husband.  But the verb used for it in this passage about the “sotah” is extremely rare.  Where else does it occur?

This week’s handout:  35 Naso 5778


Behar-Behukkotai 5778

May 8, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 6th, 2018

Lev. 27:2-3 … When anyone explicitly vows to the Lord the equivalent for a human being [בערכך נפשות], the following scale shall apply.

But what is an ערכך?

This week’s handout:  32-33 Behar-Behukkotai 5778


Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5778

April 24, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of April 22nd, 2018

Lev. 18:21 Do not allow any of your offspring to be offered up to Molech, and do not profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.

Jacob Milgrom: “But who is Molech?”

This week’s handout:  29-30 Aharei Mot-Kedoshim 5778


Tazria-Metzora 5778

April 17, 2018

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

Lev. 6:2 This is the ritual of the burnt offering:

Lev. 6:7 And this is the ritual of the meal offering:

Lev. 6:18 This is the ritual of the sin offering:

Lev. 7:1 This is the ritual of the guilt offering:

So why is Lev 14:2 “This shall be the ritual for a leper”?  And who is the one commentator who evens asks that question?

This week’s handout:  27-28 Tazria-Metzora 5778


Shemini 5778

March 27, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the weeks of March 25th and April 8th, 2018

Lev. 11:46      These are the instructions concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in water, and all creatures that swarm on earth, 47 for distinguishing between the unclean and the clean, between the living things that may be eaten and the living things that may not be eaten.

But why?  The High Priest supposedly explained it all to Aristeas …

This “week’s” handout:  26 Shemini 5778


Click here for Elli Fischer’s article about Azariah de Rossi and the Letter of Aristeas.

Click here for an online translation of the letter (also clickable from Fischer’s article).


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


Beshalach 5778

January 23, 2018

This is Torah Talk for the week of January 21st, 2018

Exod. 14:13  But Moses said to the people, “Have no fear! Stand by, and witness the deliverance which the

Lord will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today [כי אשר ראיתם את מצרים היום] you will never see again.”

But is that what כי אשר ראיתם את מצרים היום really means?  And why would Moses say such a thing?

This week’s handout:  16 Beshalach 5778