/Torah Talks

Torah Talk for Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

In these parashot, Hashem instructs Moshe regarding the procedures for Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement); Hashem then tells Moshe to give the people a series of ethical and ritual laws instructing them on how to be holy. MILTON’s core value of m’dor l’dor, “from generation to generation,” is reflected in this week’s parashot. The following appears in Parashat Kedoshim regarding the older generation (19:32): “You shall rise before the aged, and honor the face of …

April 24, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Tazria-Metzora

In these parashot, Hashem instructs Moshe on the purification rituals for mothers following childbirth, describes to Moshe and Aharon the procedures for identifying and responding to those infected with tzara’at (usually translated as leprosy) and the purification ritual for people and homes afflicted with leprosy, and instructs Moshe and Aharon on the laws regarding emission of bodily fluids. The Torah does not make clear exactly why a person becomes afflicted with tzara’at. Read more >

April 17, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Shemini

After the dedication of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the ordination of the cohanim (priests), two of Aharon’s sons bring a strange fire before God and are consumed by fire; God then instructs Moshe and Aharon regarding which animals, fish, and birds may be eaten by the Bnei Yisrael. At the end of the story of the deaths of two of Aharon’s sons, the text says that “Aharon was silent.” The phrase used – vayidom Aharon – is …

April 10, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Tzav

In this parasha, Hashem tells Moshe to describe to the cohanim (priests) the rituals for some of the offerings; the cohanim then undergo the process of ordination… We have lost touch with the idea that sacrificial offerings were part of the day-in and day-out life of the ancient Jews. When they sinned, they brought an offering. When they completed something, they brought an offering. When something good happened, they brought an offering. Read more >

March 19, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayikra

In this parasha, God commands Moshe regarding various types of korbanot (animal and vegetative offerings): what they should consist of and under what circumstances they should be offered. This parasha illustrates and elucidates an often misunderstood principle in the Torah. Rashi is fond of quoting the Talmud in Masechet Pesachim 6b: “There is no chronological order in the Torah.” This does not mean that the Torah was written in a hodge-podge fashion with no thought given to the order of the …

March 13, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei

In these parshiyot the Bnei Yisrael bring so many materials for the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that Moshe tells them to stop; Betzalel and Oholiav, gifted craftspeople, construct the elements of the Mishkan. The work of constructing the Mishkan is completed; Moshe receives the command to anoint its vessels and to anoint Aharon and the cohanim (priests). The beginning of Parashat Vayakhel reminds the people just before the construction of the mishkan begins that …

March 5, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Ki Tisa

In this parasha, Hashem continues describing the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to Moshe; the people worship the Aygel Hazahav (Golden Calf), Moshe pleads on their behalf, and Hashem forgives them. The so-called “Thirteen Attributes of God” are found in this parasha. However, given the way Hebrew grammar and syntax operate, we could translate the relevant verses into English in a number of distinct ways. Read more >

February 26, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Tetzaveh

In this parasha, God describes to Moshe the clothing and anointing process of the kohanim (priests). An old joke goes as follows: A man comes to the rabbi and says that he wants to be a kohen (a member of the priestly order). The rabbi says, “I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way, you cannot just become a kohen.” The man offers the rabbi a donation of $5,000 to the synagogue. The rabbi says no. …

February 20, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Terumah

In this parasha, Hashem instructs Moshe to collect gifts from Bnei Yisrael in order to build a Mishkan (Tabernacle) so that Hashem can dwell among the people; Hashem describes to Moshe the vessels and structures that comprise the Mishkan. The parasha begins with a description of all of the ornate trappings of the Mishkan. But does God really need all that opulence? Read more >

February 13, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Mishpatim

In this parasha, Moshe informs the people of numerous ethical and ritual laws and seals the brit (covenant) between the Bnei Yisrael and Hashem. In the middle of this parasha, we encounter four verses that seem quite relevant and topical to us today. Chapter 22, verses 20-23, tell us: “And a stranger you shall not wrong, neither shall you oppress him; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow …

February 6, 2018 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|