Weekly Torah Parsha

  • June 03, 2017

Naso | Take a Census

Numbers 4:21 - 7:89

  • A census of the Gershonites, Merarites, and Koathites between the ages of thirty and fifty is conducted and their duties in the Tabernacle are detailed. (4:21-49)
  • God speaks to Moses concerning what to do with ritually unclean people, repentant individuals, and those who are suspected of adultery. (5:1-31)
  • The obligations of a nazirite vow are explained. They include abstaining from alcohol and not cutting one's hair. (6:1-21)
  • God tells Moses how to teach Aaron and his sons the Priestly Blessing. (6:22-27)
  • Moses consecrates the Sanctuary, and the tribal chieftains bring offerings. Moses then speaks with God inside the Tent of Meeting. (7:1-89)
Haftora: Judges 13:2 - 13:25
  • June 10, 2017

B'haalot'cha | When You Raise [the Lamps]

Numbers 8:1 - 12:16

  • God speaks to Moses, describing the menorah for the Tent of Meeting. The Levites are appointed to serve as assistants under Aaron and his sons. (8:1-26)
  • Those who are unable to celebrate Passover during Nisan are given a time in the month of Sivan to observe a "second Passover." (9:1-14)
  • A cloud by day and fire by night show God's Presence over the Tabernacle. When the cloud lifts from the Tabernacle, the people leave Sinai, setting out on their journey, tribe by tribe. (9:15-10:36)
  • The Israelites complain about the lack of meat, and Moses becomes frustrated. God tells him to appoint a council of elders. God provides the people with meat and then strikes them with a very severe plague. (11:1-34)
  • Miriam and Aaron talk about the "Cushite woman" whom Moses has married. In addition, they complain that God speaks not only through Moses but also through them. Miriam is struck with leprosy, and Moses begs God to heal her. After her recovery, the people resume their journey. (12:1-16)
Haftora: Zech 2:14 - 4:7
  • June 17, 2017

Sh'lach L'cha | Send [Notables to Scout the Land]

Numbers 13:17 - 15:41

  • Moses sends twelve spies to the Land of Israel to report on the inhabitants and the country. Despite the positive report of Joshua and Caleb, the people are frightened. (13:1–14:10)
  • God threatens to wipe out the Children of Israel but relents when Moses intercedes on their behalf. To punish the people, God announces that all those who left Egypt would not enter the Land of Israel except for Joshua and Caleb. (14:11–45)
  • Moses instructs the Israelites regarding setting aside challah, the observance of the Sabbath, how to treat strangers, and the laws of tzitzit. (15:1–41)
Haftora: Josh 2:1 - 2:24
  • June 24, 2017

Korach

Numbers 16:1 - 18:32

  • Korach and his followers, Dathan and Abiram, lead a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. God punishes the rebels by burying them and their families alive. Once again, God brings a plague on the people. (16:1-17:15)
  • The chief of each tribe deposits his staff inside the Tent of Meeting. Aaron's staff brings forth sprouts, produces blossoms, and bears almonds. (17:16-26)
  • The Kohanim and Levites are established and assigned the responsibility of managing the donations to the Sanctuary. All of the firstborn offerings shall go to the priests and all the tithes are designated for the Levites in return for the services they perform. (18:1-32)
Haftora: I Samuel 11:14 - 12:22
  • July 01, 2017

Chukat | The Ritual Law

Numbers 19:1 - 22:1

  • The laws of the red heifer to purify a person who has had contact with a corpse are given. (19:1-22)
  • The people arrive at the wilderness of Zin. Miriam dies and is buried there. (20:1)
  • The people complain that they have no water. Moses strikes the rock to get water for them. God tells Moses and Aaron they will not enter the Land of Israel. (20:2-13)
  • The king of Edom refuses to let the Children of Israel pass through his land. After Aaron's priestly garments are given to his son Eleazer, Aaron dies. (20:14-29)
  • After they are punished for complaining about the lack of bread and water, the Israelites repent and are victorious in battle against the Amorites and the people of Bashan, whose lands they capture. (21:4-22:1)
Haftora: Judges 11:14 - 11:33
  • July 08, 2017

Balak

Numbers 22:2 - 25:9

  • Balak, the king of Moab, persuades the prophet Balaam to curse the Israelites so that he can defeat them and drive them out of the region. However, Balaam blesses the Children of Israel instead and prophesies that Israel's enemies will be defeated. (22:2-24:25)
  • God punishes the Israelites with a plague for consorting with the Moabite women and their god. The plague is stayed after Pinchas kills an Israelite man and his Midianite woman. (25:1-9)
Haftora: Micah 5:6 - 6:8
  • July 15, 2017

Pinchas | Phinehas

Numbers 25:10 - 30:10

  • Pinchas is rewarded for killing the Israelite and the Midianite woman who cursed God. (25:10–15)
  • Israel fights a war against the Midianites. (25:16-18)
  • A second census is taken. (26:1–65)
  • The daughters of Zelophehad force a change in the laws of property inheritance. (27:1–11)
  • Joshua is chosen to be Moses' successor. (27:15–23)
  • The sacrificial ritual for all festival occasions is described in detail. (28:1–30:1)
Haftora: Jeremiah 1:1 - 2:3
  • July 22, 2017

Matot - Mas-ei | The Tribes / The Marches of [the Israelites]

Numbers 30:2 - 36:13

  • Moses explains to the Israelites the laws concerning vows made by men and women. (30:2—17)
  • Israel wages war against the Midianites. (31:1—18)
  • The laws regarding the spoils of war are outlined. (31:19—54)
  • The tribes of Reuben and Gad are granted permission to stay on the east bank of the Jordan River. (32:1—42)
  • The itinerary of the Israelites through the wilderness from Egypt to Jordan is delineated. (33:1-49)
  • Moses tells Israel to remove the current inhabitants of the land that God will give them and to destroy their gods. (33:50-56)
  • The boundaries of the Land of Israel are defined, along with those of the Levitical cities and the cities of refuge. (34:1-35:15)
  • God makes a precise distinction between murder and manslaughter. (35:16-34)
  • The laws of inheritance as they apply to Israelite women are delineated. (36:1-13)
Haftora: Jeremiah 2:4 - 2:28 | Jeremiah 3:4 - 3:4
  • July 29, 2017

D'varim | The Words

Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22

  • Moses begins his final words of instruction to the Children of Israel, focusing first on recounting their physical journey. (1:1–21)
  • Moses reviews the people's reactions to the negative reports of the spies and the appointment of Joshua to succeed him. (1:22–45)
  • Moses recounts that all of the Israelite warriors who left Egypt died, as God had intended, and the people continued their wanderings and defeated their enemies. (2:14–3:11)
  • Moses reiterates that the Land of Israel was allocated to the Israelite tribes. (3:12–22)
Haftora: Isaiah 1:1 - 1:27
  • August 05, 2017

Va-et'chanan | I [Moses] Pleaded with the Eternal

Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11

  • Moses pleads with God to let him enter the Land of Israel with the people, but God once more refuses his request. (3:23–28)
  • Moses orders the Children of Israel to pay attention and follow the laws given by God in order to be worthy of the land they are about to receive. (4:1–40)
  • Specific areas of the land are set aside to serve as cities of refuge. (4:41–43)
  • The covenant at Sinai and the Ten Commandments are recalled. Once again, the people are exhorted to heed God's commandments. (5:1–30)
  • Moses speaks the words of the Sh'ma, the credo of Judaism, and commands Israel to show their love for Adonai and keep God's laws and ordinances. (6:1–25)
  • Moses warns the people not to commit idolatry by worshiping the gods of the nations they will conquer in Israel. (7:1–11)
Haftora: Isaiah 40:1 - 40:26
  • August 12, 2017

Eikev | [And if You] Obey [These Rules]

Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25

  • Moses tells the Israelites that if they follow God's laws, the nations who now dwell across the Jordan River will not harm them. (7:12–26)
  • Moses reminds the people of the virtues of keeping God's commandments. He also tells them that they will dispossess those who now live in the Land only because they are idolatrous, not because the Israelites are uncommonly virtuous. Thereupon, Moses reviews all of the trespasses of the Israelites against God. (8:1–10:11)
  • Moses says that the Land of Israel will overflow with milk and honey if the people obey God's commandments and teach them to their children. (10:12–11:25)
Haftora: Isaiah 49:14 - 51:3
  • August 19, 2017

R'eih | See [This Day I Set Before You Blessing and Curse]

Deuteronomy 11:26 - 6:17

  • God places both blessing and curse before the Israelites. They are taught that blessing will come through the observance of God's laws. (11:26–32)
  • Moses' third discourse includes laws about worship in a central place (12:1–28); injunctions against idolatry (12:29–13:19) and self-mutilation (14:1–2); dietary rules (14:3–21); and laws about tithes (14:22–25), debt remission (15:1–11), the release and treatment of Hebrew slaves (15:12–18), and firstlings (15:19–23).
  • Moses reviews the correct sacrifices to be offered during the Pilgrim Festivals—Pesach, Sukkot, and Shavuot. (16:1-17)
Haftora: Isaiah 54:11 - 55:5
  • August 26, 2017

Shof'tim | Judges

Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9

  • Laws regarding both sacred and secular legislation are addressed. The Israelites are told that in every dealing they should pursue justice in order to merit the land that God is giving them. (16:18–18:8)
  • The people are warned to avoid sorcery and witchcraft, the abhorrent practices of their idolatrous neighbors. (18:9–22)
  • God tells them that should an Israelite unintentionally kill another, he may take sanctuary in any of three designated cities of refuge. (19:1–13)
  • Laws to be followed during times of peace and times of war are set forth. (19:14–21:9)
Haftora: isaiah 51:12 - 52:12
  • September 02, 2017

Ki Teitzei | When You Go Out (to Battle)

Deuteronomy 21:10 - 25:19

  • Moses reviews a wide variety of laws regarding family, animals, and property. (21:10–22:12)
  • Various civil and criminal laws are delineated, including those regarding sexual relationships, interaction with non-Israelites, loans, vows, and divorce. (22:13–24:5)
  • Laws of commerce pertaining to loans, fair wages, and proper weights and measures are given. (24:10–25:16)
  • The parashah concludes with the commandment to remember for all time the most heinous act committed against the Israelites—Amalek's killing of the old, weak, and infirm after the Israelites left Egypt. (25:17–19)
Haftora: Isaiah 54:1 - 54:10
  • September 09, 2017

Ki Tavo | When You Enter [the Land]

Deuteronomy 26:1 - 29:8

  • The Israelites are instructed to express their gratitude to God for their bountiful harvests and freedom from slavery by tithing ten percent of their crops for the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. (26)
  • The people are told to display on large stones God's commandments for all to see. (27:1-8)
  • The Levites are to proclaim curses upon those who violate God's commandments. (27:15-26)
  • The Israelites are told that if they obey God's mitzvot faithfully, they will receive every blessing imaginable. They are also told that if do not fulfill their brit with God, many curses will descend upon them. (28:1-69)
  • Moses reminds the Israelites of the miracles they witnessed in the wilderness and commands them to observe the terms of the covenant so that they may succeed in all that they undertake. (29:1-8)
Haftora: Isaiah 60:1 - 60:22
  • September 16, 2017

Nitzavim / Vayeilech | You Stand [This Day] / [Moses] Went

Deuteronomy 29:9 - 30:20

  • Moses tells the assembled people that God's covenant speaks to them and to all of the generations who will follow. (29:9–14)
  • God warns the Israelites that they will be punished if they act idolatrously, the way the inhabitants of the other nations do. (29:15–28)
  • Moses reassures the people that God will not forsake them and that they can attain blessings by following God's commandments. (30:1–20)
  • Moses tells the assembled people that God's covenant speaks to them and to all of the generations who will follow. (29:9–14)
  • God warns the Israelites that they will be punished if they act idolatrously, the way the inhabitants of the other nations do. (29:15–28)
  • Moses reassures the people that God will not forsake them and that they can attain blessings by following God's commandments. (30:1–20)
  • Moses prepares the people for his death and announces that Joshua will succeed him. (31:1–8)
  • Moses instructs the priests and the elders regarding the importance of reading the Torah. (31:9–13)
  • God informs Moses that upon his death, the people will commit idolatry and "many evils and troubles shall befall them." God tells Moses to teach the people a poem that will "be My witness." (31:14–30)
Haftora: Isaiah 61:10 - 63:9
  • September 23, 2017

Haazinu | Listen

Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52

  • Moses sings his last song, a love poem to God and a chastisement of the people, who are not worthy of Adonai. (32:1–6)
  • The poem recounts the blessings that God has bestowed on the Israelites, the wicked deeds they have committed, and the punishments that God then inflicted upon them. (32:7–43)
  • God tells Moses to begin his ascent of Mount Nebo, from where he will see the Land of Israel from a distance but will not be allowed to enter it. (32:45–52)
Haftora: Hosea 14:2 - 14:10 | Micah 7:18- -
  • September 30, 2017

Yom Kippur

Deuteronomy 29:9 - 29:14

  • Yom Kippur morning: In the final address by Moses to the Children of Israel, we are reminded that each and every one of us is a member of the Covenant. From our ancestors at Sinai to this very day, each of us is the heir to this sacred tradition. Our tradition is neither too difficult to learn nor too cumbersome to follow. Regardless of our station in life, Torah belongs to all of us. Finally, we are exhorted to "choose life," to love God, to walk in God's ways, and to keep God's commandments. By doing so, we open our hearts to God and to each other.

    Yom Kippur afternoon: In the climactic chapter of the Book of Leviticus, we read that each of us can be holy. Each of us has the capacity to bring holiness into our lives and into the lives of those around us. Every act, great or small, can bring us closer to the sacred. We are instructed to leave something from our fields for the poor and for the stranger. We are told, "You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind." We are reminded that we were once strangers in the Land of Egypt and so we must love the stranger. As the Torah reading on Yom Kippur reminds us, each of us is capable of doing this. The way to a life of holiness is by sanctifying each moment of our lives.
Haftora: Isaiah 58:1 - 58:14 | Jonah 1:1 - 4:11
  • October 07, 2017

Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot | Intermediate Days of Sukkot

Exodus 33:12 - 34:26

  • On the Shabbat during Sukkot, we are reminded of the age-old desire to know God. Moses implores God to let him see God. While God will not allow Moses to see God's face, God tells Moses, "I will make My goodness pass before you…" Perhaps we experience the divine presence through the goodness we create in the world. The Torah then sets forth the thirteen attributes of God, among them that God is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. By emulating these very attributes, we create the goodness which allows us to know God.
Haftora: Ezekiel 38:18 - 39:7
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