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 Bo Exodus 10:1 – 13:16, the last three of the Ten Plagues are visited on Egypt: a swarm of locusts devours all the crops and greenery; a thick, palpable darkness envelops the land; and all the firstborn of Egypt are killed at the stroke of midnight of the 15th […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vaera Exodus 6:2 – 9:35, God 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 […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Shemot Exodus 1:1–6:1, the children of Israel multiply in Egypt. Threatened by their growing numbers, Pharaoh enslaves them and orders the Hebrew midwives, Shifrah and Puah, to kill all male babies at birth. When they do not comply, he commands his people to cast the Hebrew babies into the […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayechi Genesis 47:28 – 50:26, Jacob lives the final 17 years of his life in Egypt. Before his passing, he asks Joseph to take an oath that he will bury him in the Holy Land. He blesses Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, elevating them to the status of […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayigash Genesis 44:18 – 47:27, Judah approaches Joseph to plead for the release of Benjamin, offering himself as a slave to the Egyptian ruler in Benjamin’s stead. Upon witnessing his brothers’ loyalty to one another, Joseph reveals his identity to them. “I am Joseph,” he declares. “Is my father still […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Miketz Genesis 41:1 – 44:17, Joseph’s imprisonment finally ends when Pharaoh dreams of seven fat cows that are swallowed up by seven lean cows, and of seven fat ears of grain swallowed by seven lean ears. Joseph interprets the dreams to mean that seven years of plenty will be […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayeshev Genesis 37:1 – 40:23, Jacob settles in Hebron with his twelve sons. His favorite is seventeen-year-old Joseph, whose brothers are jealous of the preferential treatment he receives from his father, such as a precious many-colored coat that Jacob makes for Joseph. Joseph relates to his brothers two of […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayishlach Genesis 32:4 – 36:43, Jacob returns to the Holy Land after a 20-year stay in Charan, and sends angel-emissaries to Esau in hope of a reconciliation, but his messengers report that his brother is on the warpath with 400 armed men. Jacob prepares for war, prays, and sends […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayeitzei Genesis 28:10 – 32:3, Jacob leaves his hometown of Beersheba and journeys to Charan. On the way, he encounters “the place” and sleeps there, dreaming of a ladder connecting heaven and earth, with angels climbing and descending on it; G‑d appears and promises that the land upon which he […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Toldot Genesis 25:19 – 28:9 , Isaac and Rebecca endure twenty childless years, until their prayers are answered and Rebecca conceives. She experiences a difficult pregnancy as the “children struggle inside her”; God tells her that “there are two nations in your womb,” and that the younger will prevail over […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Chayei Sara Genesis 23:1–25:18, Sarah dies at age 127 and is buried in the Machpelah Cave in Hebron, which Abraham purchases from Ephron the Hittite for four hundred shekels of silver.
Abraham’s servant Eliezer is sent, laden with gifts, to Charan, to find a wife for Isaac. At the village well, […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayera Genesis 18:1 – 22:24, God reveals Himself to Abraham three days after the first Jew’s circumcision at age ninety-nine; but Abraham rushes off to prepare a meal for three guests who appear in the desert heat. One of the three—who are angels disguised as men—announces that, in exactly one […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Lech Lecha Genesis 12:1 – 17:27, God speaks to Abram, commanding him, “Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.” There, God says, he will be made into a great nation. Abram and his wife, Sarai, accompanied by […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Noach Genesis 6:9 – 11:32, God instructs Noah—the only righteous man in a world consumed by violence and corruption—to build a large wooden teivah (“ark”), coated within and without with pitch. A great deluge, says God, will wipe out all life from the face of the earth; but the ark […]
Bereshit is the first weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. The parashah consists of Genesis 1:1–6:8.
This year, Root Source published a groundbreaking book, The Light From Zion, in which expert Jewish teachers share the timeless divine wisdom of the Torah with interested Christians (!) We only have a few copies […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Bereishit Genesis 1:1 – 6:8, God creates the world in six days. On the first day He makes darkness and light. On the second day He forms the heavens, dividing the “upper waters” from the “lower waters.” On the third day He sets the boundaries of land and sea, and […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Yom Kippur Leviticus 16:1-34; 18:1-30, the Torah reading for Yom Kippur morning describes the service performed on this day by the Kohen Gadol (high priest) in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
A special feature of the Yom Kippur service was the casting of lots over two he-goats — equal in age, […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Ha’Azinu Deuteronomy 32:1 – 32:52, the greater part of the Torah reading of Haazinu (“Listen In”) consists of a 70-line “song” delivered by Moses to the people of Israel on the last day of his earthly life.
Calling heaven and earth as witnesses, Moses exhorts the people, “Remember the days […]
Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) is packed with mitzvahs, special foods and traditions, and it’s one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar.
This year, Root Source published a groundbreaking book, The Light From Zion, in which expert Jewish teachers share the timeless divine wisdom of the Torah with interested Christians (!)
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Nitzavim-Vayelech Deuteronomy 29:9 – 31:30, the Parshah of Nitzavim includes some of the most fundamental principles of the Jewish faith:
The unity of Israel: “You stand today, all of you, before the Lord your God: your heads, your tribes, your elders, your officers, and every Israelite man; your young ones, […]
We are coming close to the holiday of Simchat Torah, the happiness of Torah, immediately after which we begin the cycle of reading the Torah from the book and portion of Genesis, Bereshit.
This year, Root Source published a groundbreaking book, The Light From Zion, in which expert Jewish teachers share the timeless divine wisdom […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Ki Tavo Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8, Moses instructs the people of Israel: When you enter the land that God is giving to you as your eternal heritage, and you settle it and cultivate it, bring the first-ripened fruits (bikkurim) of your orchard to the Holy Temple, and declare […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Ki Teitzei Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19, seventy-four of the Torah’s 613 commandments (mitzvot) are in the Parshah of Ki Teitzei. These include the laws of the beautiful captive, the inheritance rights of the firstborn, the wayward and rebellious son, burial and dignity of the dead, returning a lost object, sending […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Shoftim Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9, Moses instructs the people of Israel to appoint judges and law enforcement officers in every city. “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” he commands them, and you must administer it without corruption or favoritism. Crimes must be meticulously investigated and evidence thoroughly examined—a minimum […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Re’eh Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17, “See,” says Moses to the people of Israel, “I place before you today a blessing and a curse”—the blessing that will come when they fulfill God’s commandments, and the curse if they abandon them. These should be proclaimed on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Eikev Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25, In the Parshah of Eikev (“Because”), Moses continues his closing address to the children of Israel, promising them that if they will fulfill the commandments (mitzvot) of the Torah, they will prosper in the Land they are about to conquer and settle in […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Va’etchanan Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11, Moses tells the people of Israel how he implored God to allow him to enter the Land of Israel, but God refused, instructing him instead to ascend a mountain and see the Promised Land.
Continuing his “review of the Torah,” Moses describes the Exodus from […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22, On the first of Shevat (thirty-seven days before his passing), Moses begins his repetition of the Torah to the assembled children of Israel, reviewing the events that occurred and the laws that were given in the course of their forty-year journey from Egypt to […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Matot-Masei Numbers 30:2–32:42, Moses conveys the laws governing the annulment of vows to the heads of the tribes of Israel.
War is waged against Midian for their role in plotting the moral destruction of Israel, and the Torah gives a detailed account of the war spoils and how they were […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Pinchas Numbers 25:10 – 30:1, Aaron’s grandson Pinchas is rewarded for his act of zealotry in killing the Simeonite prince Zimri and the Midianite princess who was his paramour: God grants him a covenant of peace and the priesthood.
A census of the people counts 601,730 men between the ages […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Balak Numbers 22:2–25:9, Balak, the king of Moab, summons the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. On the way, Balaam is berated by his donkey, who sees, before Balaam does, the angel that G‑d sends to block their way. Three times, from three different vantage points, Balaam […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Chukat Numbers 19:1 – 22:1, Moses is taught the laws of the red heifer, whose ashes purify a person who has been contaminated by contact with a dead body.
After forty years of journeying through the desert, the people of Israel arrive in the wilderness of Zin. Miriam dies, and […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Korach Numbers 16:1–18:32, incites a mutiny challenging Moses’ leadership and the granting of the kehunah (priesthood) to Aaron. He is accompanied by Moses’ inveterate foes, Dathan and Abiram. Joining them are 250 distinguished members of the community, who offer the sacrosanct ketoret (incense) to prove their worthiness for the priesthood. […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Shelach Numbers 13:1–15:41, Moses sends twelve spies to the land of Canaan. Forty days later they return, carrying a huge cluster of grapes, a pomegranate and a fig, to report on a lush and bountiful land. But ten of the spies warn that the inhabitants of the land […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Beha’alotcha Numbers 8:1–12:16, Aaron is commanded to raise light in the lamps of the menorah, and the tribe of Levi is initiated into the service in the Sanctuary.
A “Second Passover” is instituted in response to the petition “Why should we be deprived?” by a group of Jews who […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Nasso Numbers 4:21 – 7:89, completing the headcount of the Children of Israel taken in the Sinai Desert, a total of 8,580 Levite men between the ages of 30 and 50 are counted in a tally of those who will be doing the actual work of transporting the Tabernacle.
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Bamidbar Numbers 1:1 – 4:20, in the Sinai Desert, God says to conduct a census of the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses counts 603,550 men of draftable age (20 to 60 years); the tribe of Levi, numbering 22,300 males age one month and older, is counted separately. The […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Behar-Bechukotai Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34, on the mountain of Sinai, God communicates to Moses the laws of the Sabbatical year: every seventh year, all work on the land should cease, and its produce becomes free for the taking for all, man and beast.
Seven Sabbatical cycles are followed by […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Emor Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23, begins with the special laws pertaining to the kohanim (“priests”), the kohen gadol (“high priest”), and the Temple service: A kohen may not become ritually impure through contact with a dead body, save on the occasion of the death of a close relative. A […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Acharei-Kedoshim Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27, following the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, God warns against unauthorized entry “into the holy.” Only one person, the kohen gadol (“high priest”), may—but once a year, on Yom Kippur—enter the innermost chamber in the Sanctuary to offer the sacred ketoret to God.
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Tazria and Metzora Leviticus 12:1 – 15:33, continue the discussion of the laws of tumah v’taharah, ritual impurity and purity.
A woman giving birth should undergo a process of purification, which includes immersing in a mikvah (a naturally gathered pool of water) and bringing offerings to the Holy Temple. All […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Shemini Leviticus 9:1–11:47 on the eighth day, following the seven days of their inauguration, Aaron and his sons begin to officiate as kohanim (priests); a fire issues forth from God to consume the offerings on the altar, and the divine presence comes to dwell in the Sanctuary.
Aaron’s two elder […]
On the FIRST DAY OF PASSOVER we read from the book of Exodus (12:21-51) of the bringing of the Passover Offering in Egypt, the Plague of the Firstborn at the stroke of midnight, and how “On this very day, God took the Children of Israel out of Egypt.”
The reading for the SECOND DAY OF […]
Last week we shared Ulpan Or’s Interactive Haggadah.
If you want to print out that haggahdah, here is a PDF version of it.
Holiday Lesson For PassoverBy Rabbi Chanan Morrison
Destroy Chametz, Gain Freedom
By the first day [of Passover] you must clear out your homes of all leaven. (Exodus 12:15)
Why Clear Out Chametz?
Why does the Torah command us to destroy all chametz (leaven) found in our homes during Passover? It is logical to eat matzah; this fast-baked food […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Tzav Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36, God instructs Moses to command Aaron and his sons regarding their duties and rights as kohanim (“priests”) who offer the korbanot (animal and meal offerings) in the Sanctuary.
The fire on the altar must be kept burning at all times. In it are burned […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayikra Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26, G‑d calls to Moses from the Tent of Meeting, and communicates to him the laws of the korbanot, the animal and meal offerings brought in the Sanctuary.
• The “ascending offering” (olah) that is wholly raised to G‑d by the fire atop the […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Vayakhel-Pekudei Exodus 35:1–40:38, Moses assembles the people of Israel and reiterates to them the commandment to observe the Shabbat. He then conveys G‑d’s instructions regarding the making of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). The people donate the required materials in abundance, bringing gold, silver and copper; blue-, purple- and red-dyed […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Ki Tisa Exodus 30:11 – 34:35, the people of Israel are told to each contribute exactly half a shekel of silver to the Sanctuary. Instructions are also given regarding the making of the Sanctuary’s water basin, anointing oil and incense. “Wise-hearted” artisans Betzalel and Aholiav are placed in […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Tetzaveh Exodus 27:20 – 30:10, G‑d tells Moses to receive from the children of Israel pure olive oil to feed the “everlasting flame” of the menorah, which Aaron is to kindle each day, “from evening till morning.”
The priestly garments, to be worn by the kohanim (priests) while serving in […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Terumah Exodus 25:1 – 27:19, the people of Israel are called upon to contribute thirteen materials—gold, silver and copper; blue-, purple- and red-dyed wool; flax, goat hair, animal skins, wood, olive oil, spices and gems—out of which, G‑d says to Moses, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, […]
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 […]
In this Shabbat’s weekly Torah portion Yitro Exodus 18:1–20:23, Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, hears of the great miracles which G‑d performed for the people of Israel, and comes from Midian to the Israelite camp, bringing with him Moses’ wife and two sons. Jethro advises Moses to appoint a hierarchy of magistrates and judges to assist […]
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, […]
On Holidays, the regular weekly Torah reading is preempted by the special Holiday reading.
The Sukkot reading for Shabbat is Exodus 33:12 – 34:26. The reason is, because that passage mentions the three pilgrimage festivals, including Sukkot. (The same reading exactly is read on Shabbat of Passover.)
The Prophets reading is Ezekiel 38:18 – 39:16, the prophecy of […]
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 […]
Judaism has a whole bunch of holidays, most from the Bible going back thousands of years.
Yom Kippur, literally the Day of Atonement, is one of the most important holidays, but there is a lot about it that is not well known.
Gidon Ariel teaches about some of the basics of this important holiday.
Your comments and […]
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.
We are not sure how this is going to develop, so we really want and need your feedback on it! Please leave your comments below.
Every week, the Jewish tradition call for a portion of the Torah – the Five Books of Moses […]