Gathering Sources: Va’etchanan

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion Va’etchanan — sometimes spelled Va’eschanan — Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11. In 2019, reading begins with minchah 8/10/19, concluding with Shabbat Nachamu, 8/17/19. 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: Rhetorical Strategy of Witness

Great Source(s): On the Shema

Praying to Pray: Va’Etchanan Prayer Links

Gathering Sources: Devarim

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.

yellow and black bee in macro photography

Photo by David Hablützel on Pexels.com

Gathering Sources: Mattot-Masei

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the double Torah portion Matot-Masei. Matot — also spelled Mattot, sometimes Mattoth or Matos — is composed of Numbers 30:2- 32:48 and is usually read along with Masei — also spelled — Numbers 33:1-26:13. In some leap years, but not all, the two portions are read separately.

The double portion is next read in most of the Diaspora and beginning with minchah on July 27 and concluding with on Shabbat morning August 3, 2019. (At Temple Micah in Washington, DC — which follows an idiosyncratic schedule — the two portions are read separately, putting the congregation’s reading schedule back in synch with the rest of the Jewish world with August 10 reading of Devarim.)

Matot A Path to Follow: What’s the Beef with Midian?

Matot Something to Notice: Kashering utensils

Masei Great Source: Ahad Ha-am on the prophet



See also:

Prayer Link: Seeing You in 42 Familiar Places

Dvar Torah: You Didn’t Have to Be There

Dvar Torah in memory of Max Ticktin (z”l): Heavy Tongue, or the House of Cards theory of bible study


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.”

Gathering Sources: Pinchas

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the weekly Torah portion, Pinchas — also sometimes spelled “Pinechas” or “Pinhas” or “Pin’has” — Numbers 25:10-30:1. 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.”

Language and Translation: “zeal” or “jealousy,” “wrath” or “passion”
A Path to Follow: Father of the daughters of Zelophehad
Something to Notice: Serah bat Asher
Great Sources: Rosh Chodesh

See also
The Time That We Get Shabbat: Pinchas Prayer Links
Dvar Torah: Pinchas and the Scary Friend
and More on Mouse
Pinchas’ Sword, Plowshares, and Musical Instruments

Gathering Sources: Behaalotekha

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion Behaalotekha — also spelled Behaalotecha, Beha’alotecha, or Beha’alothekha; sometimes: Behaaloscha– Number 8:1-12:6. 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.”

Language and Translation: “If there be a prophet

Great Source: The Cushite Woman and Blank Ink

A Path to Follow: Elders and Siblings

Something to Notice: The inverted nuns

For those attempting to follow Gathering Sources weekly postings, note that this one is appearing out of order, after schedule got off-track with Shavuot. Apologies. Nearly caught up.

Gathering Sources: Balak

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion, Balak (rarely spelled differently, sometimes: Balaq), Numbers 22:2-25:9. 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.”

Balak is next read in most of the Diaspora the week of Shabbat July 20, beginning with mincha July 13.

Something to Notice: Seeing and Gazing

A Path to Follow: Moabites and Ammonites

Great Source: “Opening the Tent

Language and Translation: Theme, Parable, Rhapsode

Michel Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff
– Bil’am et l’Ange Balaam, the Angel and the Ass;
Woodcut from the Nuremberg Chronicle

See also

Balak, Dead50, and Frederick Douglass

” The Tents and Dwellings and YOURS (and they’re plural)”

Gathering Sources: Naso

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion, Naso — sometimes spelled Nasso — Numbers 4:21-7:89. 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”:

A Path to Follow: Cherubim

Something to Notice: Priestly Blessing and Peace

Great Source(s): Bob Dylan and Mystery Midrash

Language and Translation: the offense

See also: Naso: Prayer Links on their own gifts

God’s Shadow: Naso Prayer Links

For those attempting to follow Gathering Sources weekly postings, note that this one is appearing out of order, after schedule got off-track with Shavuot. Apologies. Nearly caught up.

Gathering Sources: Bamidbar

Thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion, Bamidbar — sometimes: Bemidbar or B’midbar — Numbers 1:1-4:20. 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”:

A Path to Follow: From One Month

Something to Notice: God Grieves

Great Source: The Biography of Ancient Israel

See also: Bamidbar: Prayer Links

Note to those trying to follow the Gathering Sources series: Postings lagged following Shavuot. Sorry. Catching up.

Gathering Sources: Chukat

Some thoughts on the Torah portion, Chukat — also spelled: Chukkat, Chukkas, and Hukat — Numbers 19:1-22:1. 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”:

Great Source(s): Miriam’s Well

Language and translation: Bards? Rhapsodes?

A Path to Follow: Rise Up, O Well

Something to Notice: A Very Big White Space

See also: Then Israel Sang

Note to those trying to follow the Gathering Sources series: posting went off schedule with Shavuot. Sorry. This post comes in advance of the reading of Chukat, in most of the Diaspora on July 13, Shabbat, beginning on mincha July 6, and missing posts will appear soon.

Gathering Sources: Korach

Here are some thoughts on the Torah portion “Korach” — sometimes “Korah” — Numbers 16:1-18:32. 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: Psalms of “Sons of Korach”

Great Source: “The Nursing Father” by Alicia Ostriker

A Path to Follow: The Covenant of Salt

Language and Translation: Drawing Near

See also: Korach and the Liturgy

Korach and Dysfunctional Systems

Korach is next read in most of the Diaspora beginning on mincha June 29 through Shabbat July 6 (2019).

Note 6/27/19 to anyone who has been following the “Gathering Sources” posts: The three missing posts are coming soon. But first, look for the upcoming portion Chukkat as we catch up. Apologies for any confusion or inconvenience (got off-track with Shavuot).