We define ourselves by our covenant, by the terms of our relationship with God. It goes in cycles like grass—growing, dying, growing again.
This week’s study guide looks at the preparations made before going to war and the considerations that must be taken into account.
This parashah deals with the administration of justice in the land of Israel and the connection between no going back to Egypt.
In looking at this week’s haftarah, explore the concept of birth before labor, as demonstrated by the concept of labor pains in our stories.
The study guide for Parashat Re’eh looks at the relationship between the shmitah year, debts, loans, and tzedakah.
The Dvar Torah for Parashat Re’eh explores choosing between two paths, the long and the short of it, when the choices are presented.
This week’s haftarah compares the birthing of Israel in the generations recorded in the Torah with similar experiences in the haftarah.
The study guide for parashat Eikev explores the Shema and the mitzvot mandated by the sacred prayer, such as mezuzot and tefillin.
In this parashah, Moshe prepares the people for their entry into Israel, extolling the conduit of blessing that they are about to conquer.
This Shabbat is Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of Comforting, so we explore if what it means to be alone or lonely.
This week’s study guide explores the danger of complacency in relation to our parashah, using commentary by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.
In this week’s parashah, we see a depiction of Moshe the Mother as he pleas with God to enter the land of Israel with the Israelites.
This week’s haftarah is the final haftarah of the Three Weeks before Tisha b’Av and presents a parallel on dialogue between Isaiah and Eicha.
The study guide for parashat Devarim looks at the story of the twelve spies, in the books of Devarim and Numbers, and connects a midrash.
Deuteronomy presents an interesting paradox to the literary reader of the Bible in the form of Moshe’s memoir.
In these weeks leading up to Tisha B’av, we read a passage of Jeremiah, overflowing with water imagery and see the boiling point.
This week’s study guide continues an ongoing conversation about how to divide the land of Israel for the tribes of the Israelites.
Parashat Masei opens with a long list of all the encampments of the Israelites in the wilderness and discusses a lyric of love.
Our parashah begins with the laws governing oaths and vows. Then the Torah discusses the various types of vows and how they are used.
This week’s haftarah marks the three weeks leading up to Tisha B’av and uses Jeremiah’s words to do so, when Israelites are building walls.
The study guide for Parashat Pinchas investigates the division of the land of Israel among the twelve tribes of the nation.
At the end of the Israelites’ journey in the wilderness, Moshe’s job is terminated prematurely. This explores Moshe’s forced retirement.
There is something disturbing in hearing basic tenants of human decency presented as revelatory. Our haftarah explores what is good.
The study guide for Parashat Balak continues the discussion of a concept in the study guide for Parashat Chukat, about passing through land.
In Parashat Balak, the Moabite king Balak hires Bilaam to curse his Israelite neighbors. Bilaam notices the prevention of the unwanted gaze.
Our haftarah this week tells the brutal story of powerful vows and human sacrifices and all of the complications that go with it.
The study guide for Parashat Chukat focuses on the Israelites passing through the land and their relationship with other regions.
This week’s parashah, Chukat, focuses on the story of Moshe hitting the rock, choosing not to spare the rod, to get water.
This week’s haftarah discusses Saul’s assumption of power as the first king of Israel. Bex Stern Rosenblatt compares Saul with Eve.
Korach led a rebellion against Moshe (and Aaron). Ahead of the incense trial, Korach gathers the congregation against Moshe and Aaron.
Korach and his followers, a rebellion undermining the leadership of Moshe and Aaron, teach about disputation without denigration.
This week’s parasha starts out gloriously—we scout out the land in order to enter it. Then we investigate the concept of whores and heroes.
The study guide for Shlach focuses on the phrase used by spies, that the people of the land of Israel were too strong for the Israelites.
Our parashah is bookended by the story of the spies and tzitzit. This leads to a discussion on the obligation of mitzvot.
We look at Leah’s children’s names and how its haftarah connection. Through this, we work on regifting God’s gift to the rest of the world.
This week’s study guide looks at the complaints of Bnei Yisrael, as they are wandering through the desert, and what is behind this.
Behaalotcha describes the appointment of seventy elders to help judge the people and leadership in terms of the phrase “lamps give light.”
Names are important—they tell the world who we are and help us understand ourselves. This Haftarah discusses names and blessings.
The study guide for Parashat Naso presents commentaries from Rashi and Hizkuni to explore the building of the Mishkan.
Our parashah describes the laws of the Nazir, one who elects to take a vow of consecration to God for a certain period of time.
The haftarah for Parashat Bamidbar is taken from the Book of Hosea and explores the concept of missing mothers.
This week’s study guide focuses on Ruth, in preparation for Shavuot. Specifically, “How You Say What You Say” explores Ruth and Boaz.
In this week’s parashah we learn that the Israelites traveled through the wilderness like a troop of soldiers or a marching band.
The haftarah for Bechukotai is from the book of Jeremiah and discusses two words, Eikev and Enosh, and what these words mean.
The study guide for Bechukotai explores how “peace” is used in this week’s parashah, as well as the commentary surrounding this.
Parashat Bechukotai consists of a litany of blessings and curses that will befall the Jewish people depending on whether or not we obey God.
Jeremiah tends to find himself left speechless as he is our prophet through the destruction of Judah, Jerusalem, and the First Temple.
The study guide for Behar focuses on the concept of Shmitah, the rest year, and the language used to refer to it.
While this week’s parashah mainly focuses on shmitah, this Dvar Torah explores a line in the parashah, focusing on how to treat others.
Our haftarah expands on the parasha, limiting priestly work in the mikdash to only the descendants of Zadok.
This week’s study guide focuses on the curse of a person accused of violence. Discuss blasphemy versus blessing in this context.
Parshat Emor describes the Omer offering must be brought on the “day after the Sabbath,” the second day of the Passover holiday.
Our haftarah starts bold and bloody, and connects the destruction in Amos to the destruction in the story of Noah and the flood.
The study guide for Kedoshim synthesizes Rashi, Rashbam, and Ramban to discuss a text from Vayikra about holiness.
Public buses in Israel feature a sign that quotes from a verse in this week’s parashah: “You shall rise before the aged” (Leviticus 19:32).
This week’s parashah contains God’s instructions to Moshe concerning Aaron’s entrance into the Holy of Holies to achieve atonement.
This study guide follows the word “se’irim,” meaning sartyrs, through multiple biblical texts, tying this in with Ibn Ezra’s commentary.
This week, we read 1 Samuel 20, the story of Jonathan helping David escape from King Saul, in conjunction with Parashat Achrei Mot.
This final Shabbat before Pesach, Shabbat HaGadol, our haftarah positions us, juxtaposing Moses with the future coming of Elijah.
The study guide for this week’s parashah, Meztora, discusses the impact that tzaraat has on the physical objects it touches.
The dangers of inappropriate speech are connected to the parashah, Metzora, the person stricken with leprosy.
This week’s haftarah, from the book of Ezekiel, discusses the changing power structures and leadership in the changing times of Israel.
The study guide for Tazria focuses on pregnancy and childbirth and the outcomes of purity versus impurity derived from this.
Tazria takes its name from conception and childbirth. Ilana Kurshan connects this to bearing fruit, both literally and metaphorically.
Connected Parashat Shemini’s Haftarah, in Ezekiel, Bex Stern Rosenblatt explores the intersection of shame, guilt, and embarrassment.
This week’s study guide focuses on Nadav and Avihu, Aaron’s sons, bringing “foreign flames” to give an offering to God.
When we lash out angrily at others, it is not really we who are speaking, but the evil inclination that takes control of us from within.
This week’s haftarah explores human sacrifice. While the Tanakh seems to be mixed about it, God may command human sacrifice in this haftarah.
This week’s study guide focuses on the consecration of Aaron and his sons and Kohanim and what that means.
Parashat Tzav teaches us that in those moments when we don’t feel we have anything to offer, we offer nonetheless.
This week’s study guide focuses on two words, ma’al and me’ilah, and what it means, both literally and in terms of this week’s parashah.
At start of Leviticus, the Mishkan becomes the domain of Aaron and the priests, who are responsible for the system of sacrificial worship.
God created the world but it was not complete until a home was made for God. These homes come in the forms of the Mishkan and the Temple.
Parashat Pekudei describes the construction of the Mishkan in accordance with the specific instructions given by God to Moshe.
This week’s study guide explores the building of the Tabernacle. The exploration includes time worked and communal actions completed.
Jeoash, the king discussed in this week’s haftarah, becomes king at a young age. Does his goodness come from himself or his teachers?
In the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, archeologist Indiana Jones vies to recover the Ark of the Covenant, featured in this week’s parashah.
On Parashat Ki Tisa, honor someone in your community who embodies empathy and care. The Aliyah also marks the anniversary of the pandemic.
This week’s Haftarah parallels the parashah’s discussion on God. The Israelites face more attractive gods but return to God, in the end.
This week’s study guide explores the relationship between God and the Israelites, in the Israelites keeping the Sabbath for God.
Our parashah contains the Ten Commandments, as well as instructions for preparing the Ketoret, the incense offered in the Tabernacle.
This week’s study guide discusses details about the building of the mishkan and cleanliness in the context of prayer.
Ezekiel is rather similar to Moses. Both of them serve God and Israel outside of the land of Israel. This week’s Haftarah explores that.
This week’s study guide follows the concept of light used in the Mishkan, as compared with the light in the creation of the world.
This week’s parashah opens with God’s instructions to Moshe concerning the oil used for lighting the Menorah in the Mishkan.
Building Solomon’s Temple was perhaps the greatest feat ever of Jewish architecture. This week’s haftarah explores this more.
This week’s parshah discusses instructions for building accessories for the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. This includes a lavish, gold table.
Our parashah describes the creation of the Mishkan, especially the ark, holding the tablets, manna, Aaron’s staff, and oil.
The greatest story of our tradition is a story about freedom. This week’s Haftarah from Jeremiah explores freedom and our choices.
This week’s study guide presents commentary on the shemitah—sabbatical year—and giving to the poor or giving tzedakah.
Our parashah describes a puzzling episode, following the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai when elders of Israel envision God.
Can God change? Is the essence of eternity and divinity to never change or to be constantly evolving? Is change a human quality?
This week’s Haftarah, Isaiah, focuses on the promised destruction and regeneration. Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” depicts that.
The study guide for Parashat Yitro discusses the Ten Commandments and the relationships between fathers and children.
Our parashah contains the words of the Ten Commandments, which God speaks to Moses and the people of Israel from Mount Sinai.
Rethinking the Tanakh as a Musical and the Song of Deborah as one of the major musical numbers invites to reflect differently.
Moses is instructed to strike the stone as a water source with a rod because the Israelites are thirsty. What else did this rod do?
Just three days after escaping Egypt, the Israelites find themselves in the desert with no water, causing spiritual crises.
A claim to the land of Israel ranged from a covenant with Abraham to laws to keep the land. This week’s haftarah discusses that.
When Moses names a time for the final plague, the death of the first born, he isn’t as specific as we might expect, why?