Weekly Torah Portion

Parshat Ha’azinu is a beautiful poem, a final effort by a soon-to-die Moshe to stir the Jewish people to a commitment to their covenant with God. The parsha, which speaks of both the Jewish past and future, and our relationship with God and his mitzvot (commandments), begins like this: “Listen, oh heavens and I will speak, and hear, oh earth, what I say”.

The obvious question is why does Moshe seem to address the heaven and earth – we thought he was meant to be talking to the Jewish people?


Previous Torah Portions

Parshat Nitzavim, which we read every year before Rosh Hashanah, contains what is known as the parsha of teshuva (תשובה - repentance): a beautiful, poetic, and moving description of the Jewish people’s return to their covenant with God and their commitment to His Torah, along with a parallel return from exile, to where they have been banished for failing to keep the mitzvot, to the land of Isra
As a teacher, I am often called upon to explain the Biblical and Rabbinic roots of Zionism. Questions such as Is it a Mitzvah (commandment) to live in Israel?, or Haven't Jews always lived in the Diaspora, after all, the Babylonian Talmud, the textual cornerstone of Jewish life and law, was written in Babylon, wasn't it? Why is it important to live in Israel?
I recently read in the New York Times that Donald Trump is getting a good deal of support for his presidential bid from Evangelical Christians. The author of the piece found this to be strange, and I agree. And it’s not only Trump.

Jewish Holidays

Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah: Shmini Atzeret and Life, Itself

The seven-day holiday of Sukkot is immediately followed by Shmini Atzeret – often translated as the Eighth Day of Assembly.

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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