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Weekly Torah

The generation of the desert paid a high price for their lack of belief in themselves, but received the sweetest and most profound affirmation of G-d’s belief in them: the promise that their children will indeed enter the land, build the Holy Temple, and share time and space in the promised land and at the chosen place with the one true eternal G-d of Israel.

The teaching was originally recorded in 2015.

Shelach (Numbers 13:1-15:41)

Parashat Shelach is read on Shabbat:

Sivan 19, 5776/June 25, 2016 (Israel)

Sivan 26, 5776/July 2, 2016 (Diaspora)

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Beha’alotcha and the art of complaining: The professional complainers in the desert turned complaining from a spontaneous response to discomfort into a premeditated attempt to change fate and flee from destiny, grumbling about everything from “my feet hurt” to “I don’t wanna eat my manna!”

Beha’alotcha (Numbers 8:1-12:16)

Parashat Beha’alotcha is read on Shabbat:

Sivan 12, 5776/June 18, 2016 (Israel)

Sivan 19, 5776/June 25, 2016 (Diaspora)

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From the Levitical responsibilities in the Tabernacle, to the ‘wayward’ woman and the Nazir, to the priestly blessing first uttered by Aharon, to the identical gifts to G-d brought to the altar by the heads of all twelve tribes, parashat Naso is all about G-d’s embracing His people and all the challenges that face them day after day.

Naso (Numbers 4:21 – 7:89)

Parashat Naso is read on Shabbat:

Sivan 5, 5776/June 11, 2016 (Israel)

Sivan 12, 5776/June 18, 2016 (Diaspora)

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The book of Leviticus concludes with a stark but promising choice: Either regard life as void of meaning, empty of purpose, vacant, meaningless and futile and discover that life regards you likewise, and suffer the torturous consequences, or “follow My [G-d's] statutes and observe My commandments and perform them,” and see the purpose and holiness in life, and G-d will bless you with all good things.

Bechukotai (Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34)

Parashat Bechukotai is read on Shabbat:

Iyar 20 5776/May 28, 2016 (Israel)

Iyar 27 5776/June 4, 2016 (Diaspora)

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The life force that G-d bestows upon all creation transcends time and space and invests all creation with holiness. By the laws of shemittah (7 year sabbatical cycle) and Yovel (49 year Jubilee cycle), Torah commands Israel to take possession of both time and space in order to reveal and make visible the holiness in G-d’s creation.

Behar (Leviticus 25:1-26:2)

Parashat Behar is read on Shabbat:

Iyar 13 5776/May 21, 2016 (Israel)

Iyar 20 5776/May 28, 2016 (Diaspora)

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The Holy Temple is not simply a unique place and time within which G-d’s presence dwells and can be experienced by all who enter. The Holy Temple, within which G-d’s presence is overwhelmingly in the here and now, shapes for all humanity, near and far, the space and time in which we live and the way we perceive our own place in space and time.  The appointed Temple festivals around which our lives are centered, and the detailed precision of the daily service in the Holy Temple,  create a spiritual gravitational pull that frees us from our own misconceptions and disorientation and puts us in step with the Creator of the universe.

Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23)
Parashat Emor is read on Shabbat:
Iyar 6, 5776/May 14, 2016 (Israel)
Iyar 13/May 21, 2016 (Diaspora)

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“You shall be holy, for I, HaShem, your G-d, am holy.” How is that possible? What is required? How is it to be achieved? Parashat Kedoshim describes what it takes to be holy because G-d is holy, and why this imperative, which applies to the entire nation, is included in Leviticus, the guide-book for Kohanim.

Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:1 – 20:27)
Parashat Kedoshim is read on Shabbat:
Nisan 29, 5776/May 7, 2016

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