Parashat Devarim

Saturday 29 July 2017 Av 6 5777 Parashat Devarim by Jared Eaton, UMJC Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22; Isaiah 1:1-27; Acts 9:1-22 This week’s Torah portion is D’varim, as we start the book of Deuteronomy. This week also falls in what is called the “Nine Days,” a period of deep reflection and introspection preceding the commemoration of Tisha b’Av on the 9th day of the month of Av (August 1 this year). Tisha b’Av memorializes the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., as well as the First Temple centuries before. It is a day of mourning, and on it we are forbidden from learning Torah (since the study of Torah gives us great

Parashat Matot Masei

Saturday 22 July 2017 Tamuz 28 5777 (Apologies - I was away overseas and did not have connectivity for most of the week. Hence this delayed posting.) Num 30:2–32:42; Jeremiah 1:1–2:3; John 18-19 Num 33:1–36:13; Jeremiah 2:4–28; 3:4; 4:1–2; John 20–21 Paul enjoins married men to “love your wives and do not be embittered against them.” (Colossians 3:19) The bible never commands husbands to “make your wives submit to you.” The mitzvah of submitting to one’s husband belongs solely to the woman. It is the wife’s mitzvah, not the husband’s. A husband need not fret that his wife is not submissive to him. That is her business, not his. In Numbers chapter 30, we see that the husban

Parashat Pinchas

Saturday 15 July 2017 Tamuz 21 5777 Numbers 25:10-29:40; 1 Kings 18:46-19:21; John 2:13-25 God’s holy place is called the tent of meeting or the Tent of Appointment – Oheil HaMoed. His holy times are called the appointed times. The reason is to teach you that the Sabbath and the holy days are like tabernacles pitched in the flow of time. When we enter the appointed times, we enter a holy temple made of time. In Numbers chapters 28 & 29, the Lord warns israel, “you shall be careful to present my offering…at their appointed times.” (28:2) Numbers 28–29 is an ancient priestly calendar, a detailed list of the prescribed temple sacrifices for each festival day. The verse refers

Parashat Balak

Saturday 8 July 2017 Tamuz 14 5777 Numbers 22:2-25:9; Micah 5:6-6:8; Hebrews 10:5-9, 31-39 This Shabbat we read the portion of Balak. The 17th of Tamuz, which coincides with Tuesday 11th July, marks the anniversary of the breaching of the walls of Yerushalayim which preceded the destruction of the first Temple. The seventeenth of Tammuz ushers in a three-week morning period for the Temple. There is an underlying connection between all of the above. Balak was a gentile prince and sorcerer who was the leader of Moav. Seeing the miraculous success of the Jewish people in conquering the lands of Sichon and Og in last week’s portion, he feared for his nation’s safety. He hired Bi

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