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Shabbat

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

For centuries, anti-Semitism was fueled by a belief that G-d had abandoned His people, that the promises that had been listed specifically in the Bible for the Jewish people were no longer relevant.  Medieval Christian theologies were based on this premise.  But it is the clear statement in verse 44 that belies this idea, for G-d explicitly states that, despite exile and deserved punishment, G-d will never break His covenant with us.

Behar (At The Mountain) – Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2

The Sabbath reminds us that G-d created the world and we are commanded to rest one day each week, to stop our activities of work and creation and devote ourselves to spiritual pursuits. The land does the same in the seventh year and reverts to its original owner in the 50th year, after seven Sabbatical cycles.

Kedoshim Leviticus 19:1 – 20:27

We can aspire to holiness! You shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)  Throughout Leviticus, God commands Moses to teach the Children of Israel, or to instruct them in various commandments and rules of behavior. With this scripture, God introduces a few laws pertaining to our relationship with God, … Read more

Shmini (Eighth) – Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47

One of the most tragic events in the Bible takes place in this week’s reading. Leviticus 10 begins with the story of the death of Nadav and Avihu, who brought a “strange fire” before G-d. It is not clear exactly what Nadav and Avihu did that angered G-d.

Shmini (Eighth) – Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47

One of the most tragic events in the Bible takes place in this week’s reading. Leviticus 10 begins with the story of the death of Nadav and Avihu, who brought a “strange fire” before G-d. It is not clear exactly what Nadav and Avihu did that angered G-d.

VaYigash (And He (Judah) Approached) – Genesis 44:18 – 47:27

This week’s portion begins with the most dramatic speech in the Bible — Judah’s plea to Joseph to save his brother Benjamin. “And Joseph could not restrain himself before all that stood by him . . . And he wept aloud . . . And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph, is my father still alive?'” (Genesis 45:1-3).

Ha’azinu (Listen) – Deuteronomy 32:1 – 32:52

This week we read the Song of Moses, one of Moses’ final speeches to the Children of Israel before his death. The only other words Moses speaks to the nation after this are the words of blessing in Deuteronomy Chapter 33

Sukkot – Exodus 33:12 – 34:16

This week is the holiday of Succot, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the middle of Sukkot falls on Shabbat, so once again the regular Torah reading is suspended and a special portion for the holiday is read instead.

Nitzavim (Standing) – Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20

This week’s portion includes Moses’ last speech to the nation before the final poem that is Chapter 32 and the blessings in Chapter 33. Chapter 30 is often referred to as the “Return” chapter, including, as it does, references to both a physical and spiritual return to God and the Land of Israel. But a close examination of the verses in this chapter reveals a confusing sequence of events.