Weekly Torah Portion

This week’s first parsha, Matot – we also read the following one, Masa’ay – begins with laws pertaining to making and breaking oaths. This is an area of Jewish law that is pretty much out of commission today, as we do not make oaths the way they used to. The Torah is talking about things like getting mad at someone and swearing to never speak to or eat with them again, or swearing to never do a certain thing, using God’s name in the process. These oaths are taken very seriously by the Halacha, and one must keep them. However, there are mechanisms for nullifying these oaths.


Previous Torah Portions

In this week’s parsha, Pinchas, the Jewish nation is near the end of their 40-year trek in the desert, and getting ready to enter Israel. Issues of conquest and division of the land are being discussed. At this stage, the five daughters of the deceased Tzlafchad approach Moshe with a pertinent and practical question.
We all live in a new reality, very different from the way the world was only a few years ago.
In Parshat Chukat, we read the tragic story of Moshe’s fatal mistake – his hitting the rock, rather than speaking to it, to produce water in the desert for the thirsty people of Israel. Traditionally, there have been two basic ways of understanding what this sin, the punishment for which was to deny Moshe entry to the Promised Land, was really all about.

Jewish Holidays

Shavuot: Loving-Kindness

It is the custom among Jewish communities around the world to read the Book of Ruth on Shavuot.

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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