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Shabbat Shalom

Balak (Balak) – Numbers 22:2 – 25:9

The Children of Israel’s enemies choose to engage in spiritual warfare after being unable to defeat Israel with swords in Portion Balak. Yet the Prophet Balam is a huge disappointment after he is unable to fulfill his contract to curse Israel. This is a weird story!

Hukat (Statute) – Numbers 19:1 – 22:1

This week’s portion, Hukat, is action packed. The red heifer is introduced, Miriam and Aaron both die, and Moses strikes a rock in anger to bring forth water. Moses then faces serious consequences for striking the rock instead of speaking to it. There are so many explanations for this story that Shmuel compiled a list!

Shelach (Send Forth) – Numbers 13:1 – 15:41

This week’s Torah portion Shelach, recounts a dramatic moment in Israel’s history: the sin of the spies. This familiar story raises questions, like why did the spies, leaders among the children of Israel, give a bad report? Did the leaders fear that they would lose their closeness to G-d once they entered the Land?

Behukotai (My Statutes) – Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34

Shmuel shares a story about the Sanz Rebbe, a famous rabbi whose family perished in the Holocaust. The Sanz Rebbe had experience with curses and darkness, but he had great insight into blessings and the coming redemption of the Land of Israel.