In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Beshalach Exodus 13:17 – 17:16, soon after allowing the children of Israel to depart from Egypt, Pharaoh chases after them to force their return, and the Israelites find themselves trapped between Pharaoh’s armies and the sea. G‑d tells Moses to raise his staff over the water; the sea […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion, Mishpatim Exodus 21:1 – 24:18, following the revelation at Sinai, God legislates a series of laws for the people of Israel. These include the laws of the indentured servant; the penalties for murder, kidnapping, assault and theft; civil laws pertaining to redress of damages, the granting of loans […]
G‑d commands the first commandment to be given to the people of Israel: to establish a calendar based on the monthly rebirth of the moon. The Israelites are also instructed to bring a “Passover offering” to G‑d: a lamb or kid is to be slaughtered, and its blood sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vaeira, Exodus 6:2 – 9:35, G‑d reveals Himself to Moses. Employing the “four expressions of redemption,” He promises to take out the Children of Israel from Egypt, deliver them from their enslavement, redeem them, and acquire them as His own chosen people at Mount Sinai; He will then bring […]
This Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Shemot, Exodus 1:1 – 6:1, begins the Book of Exodus. Pharaoh issues harsh decrees against the Israelites, beginning decades of Jewish suffering and slavery. Moses is born and raised in the Egyptian royal palace. After killing an Egyptian, Moses escapes to Midian and marries. G‑d appears to him in […]
This Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayechi, Genesis 47:28 – 50:26, discusses Jacob’s final years. Shortly before his passing, Jacob blesses Joseph’s children as well as his own. A massive funeral procession escorts Jacob’s body to Canaan. The reading, and the Book of Genesis, concludes with Joseph’s death.
In the Haftara Prophets reading, I Kings 2:1 – […]
This Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayigash, Genesis 44:18 – 47:27, concludes the story of Joseph and his brothers, with Joseph unable to contain himself and revealing himself to them after his brother Judah offers to be imprisoned instead of Benjamin. This gripping story has captured the imagination of people for thousands of years, and […]
This Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Toledot (The Life and Times of), Genesis 25:19 – 28:9, is the only portion that focuses on the middle patriarch, Isaac, but even still opens and closes with stories about his son Jacob. In between, the stories about Isaac mostly mirror some stories about Abraham his father.
The two best known […]
This Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah), Genesis 23:1 – 25:18, opens with the death of Sarah and her widower Abraham’s mourning for her and especially purchase of the Double Cave (Me’arat Hamachpela) in Hebron in order to bury her. This purchase is recognized as the first acquisition in the […]
This Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayera, Genesis 18:1 – 22:24, continues the stories of Abraham, starting with his visit from angels who tell him that God will bless him and his wife Sarah with a son, then describe the destruction of Sodom and Gemorah, and conclude with the important story of Isaac’s Binding (Sacrifice). […]
This Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1 – 17:27, introduces Abraham, promises blessing to non-Jews who support Israel (Gen.. 12:3) and tells the world that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews (Gen 12:7 etc etc).. The Haftara Prophets reading, Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16, includes Isaiah 40: 31:
Those who hope in […]
This week we read Noah (the “h” should be pronounced more gutturally, like you are clearing your throat), Genesis 6:9 – 11:32. The second portion of Genesis, we read mostly the story of the Flood, but also a bit of Noah’s life story; the population of the world with the 70 nations descended from Noah; […]
This week we read Breshit (In the beginning of), Genesis 1:1 – 6:8. This is a festive reading, as we are restarting the cycle of reading the entire Torah, some fifty-two portions, one week at a time.
This week’s Prophets reading is from Isaiah 42:5-43:10. The connection to the Breshit reading is its first verse, […]
This week we read Ha’azinu (Listen!), Deuteronomy 32:1 – 32:52. As introduced in last week’s reading, Moses concludes his messages from God to the Israelites just before they enter the Land. As God warns over and over, the People will forget about their covenant with God and ultimately be exiled. But God will bring them […]
This week we read Vayelech (And He Went), Deuteronomy 31:1 – 31:30. This is the weekly portion with the fewest verses, and is often combined with the previous week’s portion, Nitzavim. In the parashah, Moses tells the Israelites to be strong and courageous, as God and Joshua would soon lead them into the Promised Land. […]
This week we read Nitzavim (Standing), Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20, which mostly revisits Moses’ and God’s exhortation to the people to keep the commandments. This week, the week just before the holiday of Rosh Hashana, is especially fitting for this portion to be read, as it includes the “Passage of Teshuva,” return or repentance, which appear in chapter 30 […]
This is the first post in a new category – Weekly Torah Readings.
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Every week, the Jewish tradition call for a portion of the Torah – the Five Books of Moses […]