Category Archives: Torah Portions

Noach [Noah] 2015

Torah Portion:  Genesis 6:911:32 Haftarah Portion:  Isaiah 54:155:5 New Testament Portion:  Luke 17:26-27, Hebrews 11:7, 1Peter 3:20, 2Peter 2:5, 3:9-14

The concluding words of last week’s Torah portion read “but Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh.” (Gen 6:8)  We arrive this week at the building of the ark and the salvation of one family from a worldwide calamity.  Encompassed in the “secret place of the Most High. . . in the shadow of the Almighty,” Noah’s family rode out the mother of all storms.  Continue reading Noach [Noah] 2015

B’resheet 2015

Torah Portion: Genesis 1:1-6:8
Haftarah Portion: Isaiah 42:1-43:10
New Testament Portion: John 1:1-14, Colossians 1:1-22, Hebrews 1:2, 8-10

Rav Chanoch Waxman, in his commentary “And God Saw That It Was Good,” notes that concerning the creation of man, in stark contrast to the creation of the animals [1:25], there is no explicit statement that God saw that it was good. Was not man the crescendo of the creation narrative? Continue reading B’resheet 2015

Yitro – Jethro

Torah Portion:  Exodus 18:1 through Exodus 20:23
Haftarah Portion:  Isaiah 6:1-7:6 and Isaiah 9:5-6
New Testament Portion:  1 John 1:1-6, 1John 2:2-11, 1John 2:24-26

Due to the earth-shaking (pun intended) ramifications of the events, it would seem logical that the name of this portion of Torah should be “commandments,” “Mount Sinai”, “betrothal” or “ketubah.” That it is named for Moses’ father-in-law, the “priest of Median” to whom we were introduced in Shemot a few weeks ago,  leaves us scratching our heads. Continue reading Yitro – Jethro

Fox Byte 5775 #15: Bo (Go)

My friend Al McCarn has hit a home run with this post. Did you ever wonder why the donkey is the only animal mentioned in regard to redemption in Parsha Bo? It always puzzled me and I remember it being a source of discussion over the years. But, I never really “got it” until this year, with Al’s post. Interestingly enough, this is the torah portion being read the week of my birth. Do you think Abba is trying to tell me something???

The Barking Fox

בֹּא

Donkeys in Transition.  Top left:  James Cagney as Nick Bottom, with Anita Louise as Titania in the 1935 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (via “The Many Faces of Nick Bottom” on Shakespeare Talks).  Top right:  Pinocchio turns into a donkey, from the 1940 Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, via The Disney Wiki.  Bottom Left:  Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) in Shrek the Third (via HD Wallpapers).  Bottom Right:  Donkey as Stallion in Shrek II (via Wiki Shrek).Donkeys in Transition. Top left: James Cagney as Nick Bottom with Anita Louise as Titania in the 1935 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (via “The Many Faces of Nick Bottom” on Shakespeare Talks). Top right: Pinocchio turns into a donkey, from the 1940 Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, via The Disney Wiki. Bottom Left: Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) in Shrek the Third (via HD Wallpapers). Bottom Right: Donkey as Stallion in Shrek II (via Wiki Shrek).

Is there anything more ridiculous among beasts of burden than a donkey?  They are hardly the picture of a noble animal.  On the contrary, they are loud, obnoxious, stubborn, homely (not exactly ugly, but certainly not beautiful), and they smell bad.  It is no coincidence that William Shakespeare places a donkey’s head on the foolishly self-confident Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Neither is it…

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Shemot – Names

Torah portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Haftarah: Isaiah 27:6–28:13, 29:22-23

New Testament: Acts 7:17-27, Hebrews 3:1-19, 11:22-28

In last week’s lesson we spent some time considering the prophets’ declaration of a Second Exodus in the “acharit ha yamim,” which is Hebrew for “latter days” or “end of the ages.” Therefore, this year, as we read the details of the First Exodus, we will be on high alert, heeding Paul’s warning:   Continue reading Shemot – Names

Vayechi – And he lived

Torah Portion: Genesis 47:28-50:26

Haftarah: I Kings 2:1-12

New Testament: Hebrews 11:21-22, 13:14

In last week’s lesson, Joseph not only revealed his identity to his brothers; but, more importantly, he revealed his forgiveness for their sins against him. Joseph embraced them and kissed them and urged them to bring their father and their families to Goshen, where Joseph provided all the food that the family needed and “gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded” (Gen. 47:11). Continue reading Vayechi – And he lived

Vayigash – he came near

Torah Portion: Genesis 44:18-47:27

Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:15-28

New Testament: Luke 15:11-32, John 20:14,25-28, Romans 11, Rev. 12:1-6

The story of Joseph and his brothers will come to a dramatic climax this week as Joseph, at last, reveals his identity.   Last week, the brothers went to Egypt to buy grain and there encountered the brother they had sold and thrown into a pit, though his Hebrew character was concealed by his highly Egyptian appearance. Continue reading Vayigash – he came near