Jun 2, 2018
Behaalotcha – When you set up
Beha'alotcha - When you set up
 
Numbers 8:1-12:15

The third reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-sixth reading from the Torah is called Beha'alotcha (בהעלותך), a word that literally means "When you ascend." It comes from the first verse of the portion, which could literally be translated as "When you ascend the lamps" (Numbers 8:2), a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. This portion is jam-packed, telling the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the grumbling in the wilderness, the first Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam.

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  • Jun 2, 2018Behaalotcha – When you set up
    Jun 2, 2018
    Behaalotcha – When you set up
    Beha'alotcha - When you set up
     
    Numbers 8:1-12:15

    The third reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-sixth reading from the Torah is called Beha'alotcha (בהעלותך), a word that literally means "When you ascend." It comes from the first verse of the portion, which could literally be translated as "When you ascend the lamps" (Numbers 8:2), a reference to the fact that the priest had to step up to clean and light the lamps of the menorah. This portion is jam-packed, telling the story of the consecration of the Levites, the first Passover in the wilderness, the silver trumpets, the cloud of glory, the departure from Sinai, the grumbling in the wilderness, the first Sanhedrin and the punishment of Miriam.

  • May 26, 2018Nasso – Take up
    May 26, 2018
    Nasso – Take up
    Nasso - Take up
     
    Numbers 4:21-7:89

    The second reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-fifth reading from the Torah is called Nasso (נשא), a word that literally means "lift up." It comes from the first word of the second verse in Hebrew, which could literally be translated to say, "Lift up the heads of the sons of Gershon," an idiomatic way of saying, "Make an accounting of the sons of Gershon." This Torah portion finishes up the census of the Levites that was under way at the end of the last Torah portion, before going on to discuss the purification of the camp, the ritual for a woman suspected of adultery, the laws of the Nazirite vow, the priestly benediction and the gifts the heads of the twelve tribes brought for the dedication of the altar.

  • May 19, 2018Shavuot – The Feast of Weeks
    May 19, 2018
    Shavuot – The Feast of Weeks
    Shavuot
     
    The Story of Ruth
  • May 19, 2018Bamidbar – In the wilderness
    May 19, 2018
    Bamidbar – In the wilderness
    Bamidbar - In the wilderness
     
    Numbers 1:1-4:20

    The Hebrew name of the fourth book of the Torah (also the name of the first reading) is Bamidbar (במדבר), which means "In the wilderness." It comes from the first words of the first verse, which say, "Then the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai" (Numbers 1:1). The English title of the book is "Numbers," which is derived from the Greek Septuagint (LXX) version of the Torah. The book of Numbers tells the story of Israel's trek through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, their failure at the edge of the land and the subsequent forty years of wandering. It concludes with the story of the second generation's triumphs over the first Canaanite resistance. The book ends with the Israelites poised on the edge of Canaan, ready to take their inheritance. Woven in the midst of these narratives is a significant amount of legal material.

    The first reading from Bamidbar and the thirty-fourth reading from the Torah begin with a census of the tribes of Israel and the Levitical families just prior to the departure from Sinai.

  • May 12, 2018Behar / Bechukotai – On the mountain / In my statutes
    May 12, 2018
    Behar / Bechukotai – On the mountain / In my statutes
    Behar / Bechukotai - On the mountain / In my statutes
     
    Leviticus 25:1-27:34
     

    Behar

    The thirty-second reading from the Torah and second-to-last reading from the book of Leviticus is called Behar (בהר), which means "On the Mountain." The name comes from the first words of the first verse of the reading, which could be literally translated to read, "The LORD then spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai" (Leviticus 25:1). This portion from the Torah introduces the laws of the sabbatical years, the jubilee and laws concerning redemption. In most years, synagogues read Behar together with the following portion, Bechukotai.

    Bechukotai

    The last reading from the book of Leviticus is called Bechukotai (בחקותי), which means "In My Statutes." The name comes from the first verse of the reading, which begins with the words "If you walk in My statutes ..." (Leviticus 26:3). This last reading from Leviticus promises blessings and rewards for Israel if they will keep the Torah, but punishment and curses if they break the commandments of the Torah. The last chapter discusses laws pertaining to vows, valuations and tithes. In most years, synagogues read Bechukotai together with the preceding portion, Behar.

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