Building Teva: Ark and Word

Here are the missing sources for yesterday’s post: Gematria linking the measurement’s of Noah’s ark — including its 30-cubit height — to the four-letter name of God, YHVH, is credited to the 16th Century Kabbalist Isaac Luria, AKA “the Ari.” I do not have an exact citation, and perhaps there is an older source as […]

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Pinchas and the scary friend

My original plan, when I was assigned Parashat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) to offer a dvar Torah, was to skip over Pinchas and his spear and the matter of God and human vengeance. But that’s not how things worked out. I was drawn in to the Pinchas story first by a brief commentary: And Israel attached […]

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God’s Shadow (Naso Prayer Link)

“The sacred is not to be found in the appearance of the act of spirituality but in the spirit we bring to the act,” argues Elliott Kleinman (see Naso Prayer Links). His plea for bringing individual “offerings” to traditional rites, Torah study and acts of kindness in the world — rather than seeking new forms […]

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Emor: Language and Translation

Leviticus/Vayikra 23:32 in three translations: It is a day of complete rest for you [shabbat shabbaton hu lachem] and you shall afflict yourselves; on the ninth of the month in the evening — from evening to evening — shall you rest on your rest day [tishb’tu shabbatechem].

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Kedoshim: Great Source(s)

“Be holy, etc.!” Vayikra Rabbah 24,9, considering the words: [ki kadosh ani], “For I am holy,” asks whether it is possible that the Torah demands that we, the Jewish people, are to be as holy as He is? the Midrash’s answer is that, on the contrary the words [ki kadosh ani], indicate that true sanctity […]

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Vayakhel: Something to Notice

“…but the materials were more than enough [vehoter] for all the work that had to be done.” — Exodus/Shemot 36:7 Construction of the Tabernacle in the desert was an act that paralleled the creation of heaven and earth and corresponded to all known aspects of the order in which G’d created the universe, (B’rachot 55). […]

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Ki Tisa: A Path to Follow

“Adonai, Adonai, el rachum v’chanun…” — Exodus/Shemot 34:6-7 The soul is part of God. And therefore when the soul calls out to God in prayer, part of God is, as it were, calling out to God’s own self. So, when our text says that God passed by Moses’ face, it means that Moses was overcome […]

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Breishit: Great Source(s)

The letter [bet] at the beginning of the word [breishit], is an allusion to 2 phenomena, G’d’s largesse on the one hand, His providing us with unlimited potential, whereas man by defining words in the Torah narrows down, limits the potential, in a sense limiting G’d’s input in the physical universe….The oral Torah, i.e., man’s […]

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