Weekly Torah Portion

This week we begin the book of Bamidbar, which means “in the desert” – which is where it all takes place. In English it’s called Numbers, as it begins with and contains a number of censuses of the Israelites.


Previous Torah Portions

One of the central features of the way the “social safety net” works in the west – whether it’s medical or disability insurance, income assistance, food stamps, whatever – is that before the state really helps you, you have to be in bad shape: poor, out of work, sick, with few if any assets; really out of it.
It seems like the entire world is trying to deal with the problem of how to treat the stranger.
I have to admit that I am not that big a fan of ritual. Of course, some rituals are great, inspiring, a lot of fun, and/or full of meaning, message, or at least nostalgia and aesthetics – like so much of the Passover Seder, for example (I love my charoset, which is the best in the world – just ask my kids).

Jewish Holidays

Pesach: I'm a Political Man: The Splitting of the Sea and talking politics in shul

For a while now – and quite intensively over the past months – a lively conversation about whether we should mix politics and religion has been goi

Jewish Life Cycle

One of the most important mitzvoth in the Torah is called the מת מצוה (met mitzvah) – a deceased person whom it is a commandment to bury.

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Every week, parshaoftheweek.com brings you a rich selection of material on parshat hashavua, the weekly portion traditionally read in synagogues all over the world. Using both classic and contemporary material, we take a look at these portions in a fresh way, relating them to both ancient Jewish concerns as well as cutting-edge modern issues and topics. We also bring you material on the Jewish holidays, as well as insights into life cycle rituals and events...

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