Some resources for exploring the Torah portion Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9. (Sometimes spelled Shof’tim or Shofetim.) Next read in the Diaspora beginning with minchah on August 31, through Shabbat September 7.
This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book”:
Something to Notice: You must not go back that way
A Path to Follow: Wanton Destruction
Great Source(s): Duties of the Heart
Language and Translation: Whole-Hearted
Justice: God’s Promise or Ours? (Shoftim Prayer Links)
Resources for exploring the Torah Portion, Ki Teitzei, Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19. This portion — which is also spelled (per Wikipedia, although some of these seem rare): Ki Tetse, Ki Thetze, Ki Tese, Ki Tetzey, Ki Seitzei — is next read in the Diaspora beginning with minchah, September 7 through Shabbat September 14. (Yes, still a few weeks away and out of order: Re’eh and Shoftim coming soon.)
This post is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”
Language and Translation: Not Indifferent
A Path to Follow: Bird’s Nest and “The Other”
Great Sources: One-Sided Memory
Something to Notice: Gershwin Haftarah
See also: Ki Teitzei Prayer Links: Remember
Remember Miriam: Process and Patience
Ki Teitzei: Productive Erasing
Here are some background materials relating to the Torah portion Devarim, the Grateful Dead, and Shabbat Hazon. Also included are a selection from Marge Piercy’s “Nishmat” and an excerpt from Fanny Neuda’s Hours of Devotion to be included in the Shabbat morning service, August 10 at Temple Micah. Handout for August 10.
Here are the full articles excerpted in the handout:
“What the Grateful Dead Can Teach Us About Tisha B’av” (Times of Israel June 2017) by Rabbi Simeon Cohen
“Tuning In Together” by Granville Ganter (1999 article)
Also attached are some notes and quotes from Yoram Hazony’s book, The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture (Cambridge University Press, 2012) from the chapter, “Truth and Being in the Hebrew Bible.” He discusses a number of verses from the book of Devarim, several from the opening portion, in the process of outlining his ideas about words, objects and dualism (or, he argues, lack thereof) in the Tanakh. I prepared this PDF for discussion of this Torah portion but then decided to talk about something entirely different this week. Perhaps eventually I’ll write up the notes for the drash I decided not to give; meanwhile, here’s the PDF: “Davar and Devarim: What is a davar and when is it true or false?”
Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion Devarim — sometimes spelled “D’varim,” occasionally “Debarim” — Devarim 1:1-3:22. This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2009-10 series called “Opening the Book.”
Language and Translation: Words and Bees
Great Source(s): On bible and Jewish culture
Another Great Source: Torah in Motion
A Path to Follow: On rebuke
Something to Notice: Consolation
See also: Devarim Prayer Links
Devarim is next read in the Diaspora Shabbat August 10, beginning with mincha on August 3.
The mighty kings Og and Sihon — mentioned in Devarim/Deuteronomy 1:4, with more detail in chapter 3 — were defeated while the Israelites were still in the wilderness (Numbers/Bamidbar 20, 21). But Og and Sihon provide a direct connection to several prayers as well as to contemporary debate about what, more generally, is a “morally uplifting offering” in prayer.
The kings are also linked to midrashim on Genesis and Exodus, and, less directly, to MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and an array of texts through the years. In fact, a brief exploration of Og and Sihon suggests that, as hypothesized about world population, any given Jewish text is no more than six degrees of separation from any other.
“The Amorite who dwell on that mountain went out against you and pursued you as the bees [devorim] would do; they struck you in Seir until Hormah.” — Deuteronomy/Devarim 1:44.
“These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel….Moses undertook to expound this Teaching.” — Deut./Devarim 1:1, 1:5
“These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel.” — Deut./Devarim 1:1
These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel, on the other side of the Jordan, concerning the Wilderness, concerning Arabah, opposite the Sea of Reeds, between Paran and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Di’zihab; eleven days from Horeb, by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.
— Devarim/Deuteronomy 1:1-2 (Stone translation)
“These are the words” launches Moses’ long rebuke of the people. The first verse, according to commentaries beginning with the Third Century Sifrei Devarim, uses place names as code for sins:
“How [‘eikhah] can I bear unaided the trouble of you, and the burden and the bickering!” — Devarim/Deuteronomy 1:12 (JPS translation)
Alter notes the unusual use of “the elongated form ‘eikhah, which often marks the beginning of laments” — instead of the simpler ‘eikh here. Plaut (The Torah: A Modern Commentary) lists two prophecies, in addition to this verse, begin with this elongated form:Continue Reading