Posts Tagged ‘Rashi’

Beha’alotcha 5779

June 18, 2019

Take the Levites … please.  What is the big insistence on “taking” the Levites all about?

Torah Talk for the week of June 16th, 2019

Num 8:5  The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 6 Take the Levites from among the Israelites and cleanse them.

This week’s handout:  36 Beha’alotcha 5779

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Naso 5779

June 11, 2019

When did the Levites start work?

Torah Talk for the week of June 9th, 2019

Num 4 :30  You shall record them from the age of thirty years up to the age of fifty, all who are subject to service in the performance of the duties for the Tent of Meeting.

Num 8:24  This is the rule for the Levites. From twenty-five years of age up they shall participate in the work force in the service of the Tent of Meeting.

1 Chr 23:24   These are the sons of Levi by clans, with their clan chiefs as they were enrolled, with a list of their names by heads, who did the work of the service of the House of the LORD from the age of twenty and upward.

This week’s handout:  35 Naso 5779

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Behukkotai 5779

May 28, 2019

The Israelites are given a promise that goes to only one other person in the Bible — but who?

Torah Talk for the week of May 26th, 2019

Lev 26:9  I will look with favor upon you, and make you fertile [והפריתי אתכם] and multiply you [והרביתי אתכם]; and I will maintain My covenant with you.

This week’s handout: 33 Behukkotai 5779

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Behar 5779

May 21, 2019

What is a hendiadys … what is a toshav … and what do they have to do with each other?

Torah Talk for the week of May 19th, 2019

Lev 25:35    a resident alien [גר ותושב]

Lev 25:40    a hired or bound laborer [תושב ושכיר]

This week’s handout:  32 Behar 5779

And note Joram Mayshar’s article in JBL 2014:

The term תושב (toshav) appears in the Bible fourteen times, mostly in passages associated with the Holiness Code (H). It is typically interpreted as referring to an alien who resides in a foreign country on a long-term basis. I propose, instead, that it had an economic meaning, referring to “a rent-paying (farming) tenant,” that is, someone who cultivates land that he does not own and pays rent to the landlord. In the course of supporting this interpretation, I offer a framework for understanding the social structure envisioned by H and for appreciating H’s innovative social aspirations.

Click here for Zev Farber’s Bible Odyssey column on slavery in the Bible.

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Aharei Mot 5779

April 30, 2019

Why is the prohibition of offering your children to Molech in a chapter full of sex crimes?

Torah Talk for the week of April 28th, 2019

Lev 18:21         Do not allow any of your offspring to be offered up to Molech [ומזרעך לא-תתן להעביר למולך], and do not profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

This week’s handout: 29 Aharei Mot 5779

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Metzora 5779

April 9, 2019

Why does the priest smear blood on the leper’s ear, thumb, and toe?

Torah Talk for the week of April 7th, 2019

Lev 14:14    The priest shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and the priest shall put it on the ridge of the right ear of him who is being cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.

This week’s handout: 28 Metzora 5779

Click here for NIH “Anatomy of the Ear” website.

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Shemini 5779

March 26, 2019

This is Torah Talk for the week of March 24th, 2019

Lev 9:1       On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel. 2 He said to Aaron: “Take a calf of the herd for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and bring them before the Lord. 3 And speak to the Israelites, saying: Take a he-goat for a sin offering; a calf and a lamb, yearlings without blemish, for a burnt offering; 4 and an ox and a ram for an offering of well-being to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meal offering with oil mixed in. For today the LORD will appear [נראה] to you.”

But the Hebrew is more mysterious than the translations make it appear.

This week’s handout: 26 Shemini 5779

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Vayakhel 5779

February 26, 2019

This is Torah Talk for the week of February 24th, 2019

Exod 38:8  He made the laver of copper and its stand of copper, from the mirrors of the women who performed tasks [הצבאת] at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting.

Who exactly are these women … what are they doing … why is the laver made from these mirrors … and how did Moses get them?

This week’s handout: 22 Vayakhel 5779

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Terumah 5779

February 5, 2019

This is Torah Talk for the week of February 3rd, 2019

Exod. 25:16   And deposit in the Ark [the tablets of] the Pact [העדות] which I will give you.

What is an edut [עדות], and why did God want them put in the Ark?

This week’s handout:  19 Terumah 5779

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Mishpatim 5779

January 29, 2019

This is Torah Talk for the week of January 27th, 2019

Exod. 24:4    Early in the morning, he set up an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve pillars for [ל] the twelve tribes of Israel.  [Apologies; on the recording I say by mistake that this preposition is על.]

Exod. 24:8   Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people …

What were the pillars for, and what was Moses doing with the blood?

This week’s handout:  18 mishpatim 5779

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