/Tag:Parent-Child Learning

Torah Talk for Parashat Haazinu

At the end of Moshe’s last speech to Bnei Yisrael, Hashem tells Moshe to write down a song to teach to the Israelites. “Put this song in their mouths,” Hashem says, “so that the words may become a witness for Me against them. After I bring them to the land that flows with milk and honey, they will eat and be satisfied and become obese. They will turn to other gods and serve them and …

September 20, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashot Nitzavim-Vayelech

In these parashot, Moshe describes the brit (covenant) between Hashem and Bnei Yisrael (the Israelites), urging Bnei Yisrael to uphold the brit and honor the Torah so that they may be rewarded with life in the land of Israel. He concludes his speech, blesses Yehoshua, and instructs the community to gather every seven years to read publicly from the Torah. Hashem predicts the eventual straying of Bnei Yisrael. The second-to-last mitzvah in the Torah appears …

September 12, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Ki Tavo

In this parasha, Moshe instructs Bnei Yisrael (the Israelites) about the first fruit offering and elaborates on the terms of the covenant by listing the blessings for keeping the commandments and the punishments for disobeying them. One misconception that many people hold is that prayer did not begin as a Jewish ritual practice until after the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash (the Temple). This parasha is one of the places in the Torah that puts …

September 5, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Ki Teitzei

In this parasha, Moshe enumerates many laws that relate to topics of family relationships, interpersonal ethics, and forbidden mixtures. The concept of tzedek (righteousness/justice) that featured prominently in last week’s parasha continues this week. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:10-15 describes how we should treat debtors and laborers with sensitivity, fairness, dignity, and justice. The mitzvot expressed in this passage contrast starkly with the laws of some other ancient civilizations. Read more >

August 28, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Shoftim

In this parasha, Moshe reviews for Bnei Yisrael (the Children of Israel) the Torah’s system of justice, the rules of kingship, the nation’s relationship to idolatrous peoples, and the rules for doing battle. One oft-quoted passage on social justice appears in this parasha (16:18-20), which uses words derived from the root “tzedek” three times in as many verses. Read more >

August 23, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Re’eh

In this parasha, Moshe instructs the Bnei Yisrael (the Israelites) regarding idolatry, false prophets, pure and impure foods, tithes, freeing slaves, and pilgrimage festivals. Chapter 12, verses 20-22, address the question of eating meat, and clearly it is permitted by the Torah. However, there was one major early modern rabbinic figure who was theoretically opposed to meat-eating. Read more >

August 16, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Ekev

In this parasha, Moshe continues his speech to the Bnei Yisrael, reminding them to keep Hashem’s commandments when they enter the land of Israel. The first verse, which includes the word for which the parasha is named, reads, “And it shall come to pass, because [ekev] you listen to these laws, and keep and do them, that Hashem your God shall keep with you the covenant and the mercy which he swore to your ancestors.” …

August 9, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Va’etchanan

In this parasha, Moshe stresses to the Bnei Yisrael the importance of keeping Hashem’s commandments when they enter the land of Israel; Moshe repeats the Aseret HaDibrot (Ten Commandments) and utters the Shema and V’ahavta passages. The Shema is central to Jewish belief and Jewish prayer. It is recited during Shacharit (the morning service) and Ma’ariv (the evening service) in addition to being recited upon retiring to bed for the night. In very few words, …

August 2, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Devarim

In this parasha, Moshe recounts to the Bnei Yisrael episodes from the 40 years in the wilderness; he gives the Bnei Yisrael encouragement regarding their upcoming conquest of the land of Cana’an. During the retelling of the history, Moshe reminds the Bnei Yisrael of one of many times he turned to God, saying (1:12): “How can I alone bear your burdens, and your encumbrances, and your strife?” I believe that the use of the first …

July 26, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashot Matot-Masei

In Parashat Matot, Moshe describes the laws of oaths; the Bnei Yisrael battle the Midianites; and the tribes of Reuven and Gad request to dwell outside of the Land of Israel. In Parashat Masei, the final parasha of the book of Bemidbar (Numbers), the Bnei Yisrael stand on the banks of the Jordan River, ready to enter into the Promised Land. The path of their journey is reviewed and then the laws pertaining to the …

July 18, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|