Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?” No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).
At this season, I pick up Rabbi Alan Lew’s book, This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared. This book bears the subtitle, “The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation.” Rabbi Lew writes, “Look. Pay attention to your life… Everything depends on our seeing our lives with clear eyes, seeing the potential blessing in each moment as well as the potential curse, choosing the former, forswearing the latter” (p 67). More
Saturday, June 8, 2013 Controlling One’s Anger By Rabbi Thomas Louchheim 38th Torah portion, 5th in Numbers Korach 16:1-18:32 (95 verses) Synopsis: Korach and his followers lead a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. God punishes them by burying them and their families alive. God brings another plague upon the people. Commentary: […]
37th Torah portion, 4th in Numbers
Sh’lach L’cha 13:1-15:41 (119 verses)
Moses sends twelve spies to Eretz Yisrael to report on the inhabitants and the country. Despite the positive report of Joshua and Caleb, the people are frightened. God threatens to wipe out the Israelites but relents when Moses intercedes (again!) on their behalf. To punish the people, God announces that all those who left Egypt will not enter the land except for Joshua and Caleb.
By Rabbi Thomas Louchheim Saturday, May 18, 2013 35th Torah portion, 2nd in Numbers Naso 4:21-7:89 (176 verses) Jewish Guilt: More than a Punch Line Synopsis: The duties in the Mishkan of the Gershonites, Merarites, and Koathites are detailed. God speaks to Moses about ritually unclean people, repentant individuals, and possible cases of adultery. […]
By Rabbi Thomas Louchheim Closeness to the Divine By Rabbi Thomas Louchheim Saturday, March 12, 2013 24th Torah portion, 1st in Leviticus – Vayikra 1:1-5:26 (111 verses) Synopsis: God instructs Moses on the five different kinds of sacrifices that are to be offered in the sanctuary: 1.Olah, “burnt offering” is the voluntary sacrifice. The entire […]