Torah Study Texts

STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT VA-YIGASH Genesis 44:18-47:27, January 7, 2017

Posted on January 13, 2017

In this Torah study, we looked at the character of Judah as revealed by his speech to Joseph at the beginning of the parsha. How has Judah changed from the jealous brother who stood coldly aside as Joseph was sold into slavery and watched his father react with horror at what appeared to be Joseph’s Continue Reading »

STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT MIKETZ SHABBAT HANUKKAH December 31, 2016

Posted on January 2, 2017

On this Shabbat of Hanukkah, the material is about the book of Judith. Judith exists only in Greek although it was originally written in Hebrew in the Land of Israel in the late 2nd century BCE. It was translated into Greek by the Jewish community of Alexandria and included in their Bible the Septuagint. It Continue Reading »

STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT VA-YISHLACH Genesis 32:4-36:43 December 17, 2016

Posted on December 19, 2016

In this week’s parasha, Jacob is returning to his family after an absence of 20 years. He finds out that his brother Esau is coming to meet him with 400 men. He is afraid because of what he had done to Esau, tricking him and their Father Isaac out of the birthright and the paternal Continue Reading »

TORAH STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT HAYYEI-SARAH Genesis 23:1-25:18 November, 26 2016

Posted on December 4, 2016

This material focuses on the first appearance of Rebekah in Genesis 24:10-61. How she appears and how she acts tells the reader a great deal about her character and what she will be like later in the Torah. study-material-for-parshat-hayyei-sarah2-11-26-2016

TORAH STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT VA-YERA 11-19-2016

Posted on November 23, 2016

This material looks at texts about angels in the Hebrew Bible and later Jewish literature. Angels are messengers from God and often the dividing line between the divine and the angel seems to very thin. In the text from the story of Gideon the call to him switches back and forth between the angel and Continue Reading »

STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT LEKH-LEKHA Genesis 12:1-17:27, November 2016

Posted on November 13, 2016

Chapter 14 of the book of Genesis gives a very different picture of Abraham from how we normally picture the biblical patriarch. Here he is a chieftain of a tribe that can field a small army. He also acts as a strategist and diplomat, launching a night attack and negotiating with kings. This chapter contains Continue Reading »

STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT NOACH Genesis 6:9-11:32 5777

Posted on November 6, 2016

This material discusses the description of Noah as a “righteous and blameless man in his generation” and whether this tells us if Noah was a good man or someone who may have been righteous in his generation but not in comparison to other figures in the Torah like Abraham or Moses. study-material-for-parshat-noach2-11-05-2016

STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT BEREISHIT (Genesis 1:1-6:8) 5777

Posted on November 6, 2016

This material looks at the various Creations stories, their meaning when they were composed and what they can tell us about our relationship to God and the earth today.   study-material-for-parshat-bereishit2-10-29-2016

STUDY MATERIAL FOR FIRST DAY SUKKOT 2016

Posted on October 27, 2016

This material looks at the Haftarah for the first day of Sukkot, which is taken from the book of the prophet Zechariah chapter 14. The material looks at the idea of the “Day of the Lord” and how the rivers of Eden will be recreated in the messianic era flowing from the Temple Mount in Continue Reading »

STUDY MATERIAL FOR PARSHAT HA’AZINU (Deuteronomy 32:1-52) 5777

Posted on October 19, 2016

This week’s parasha is traditionally the last parasha that is read in the year at Shabbat morning services. Except for the last aliyah, it consists of a poem that was referred to in last week’s parasha. This poem was, according to Deuteronomy, written by Moses at God’s behest in order to warn the people of Continue Reading »