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Parashat Korach 5778

B”H Parashat Korach 5778 Rabbi Daniela “Salt as a symbol of eternity in Judaism” After Korach and his people rebelled against Moses and Aaron and were punished, God gave some instructions to the Priests and the tribe of Levi regarding the rituals in the Tabernacle.  This is one of them: “All the sacred gifts that the Israelites set aside for the LORD I give to you, to your sons, and

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Tora Thoughts: Parashat Shlach Lecha 5778

This week we read the well-known story of the twelve spies. Before starting the conquest of the land, the Israelites need to know what kind of country it is, and what kind of people live in it. So Moses sends twelve spies to scout the Land of Canaan, one for each tribe. After travelling the land for forty days, they return and split themselves in two groups. The smallest group, consisting of Caleb and Joshua (from the tribes of Judah and Ephraim respectively), give an encouraging report about the land and its inhabitants. The second group, consisting of the other ten spies, provides a very negative report about the inhabitants of Canaan. They describe them as giants and they affirm that the Children of Israel will not be able to defeat them in war. Upon hearing this discouraging report, the people cry out, publicly expressing that they wish they had died naturally in Egypt instead of having to die at the hands of these giants. Ultimately, God punishes this generation, condemning it to die in the desert and not allowing them to enter the Land of Canaan.

The sages have traditionally understood that the harmful report given by the ten spies was the cause of the popular crisis that ended with God’s famous punishment. Some commentators think the ten spies lied, while others argue that they didn’t necessary lie, but expressed themselves in a way that sought to provoke anger and anxiety in the people.

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Torah Thoughts: Parashat Behalotcha 5778

B”H Parashat Behalotcha 5778 Rabbi Daniela “Moses was able to transmit his knowledge, passion and experience to the seventy elders without losing his internal fire” One of the themes of this week’s parashah is Moses’ exhaustion at leading the people of Israel in the desert. The people complained and questioned the authority many times. Moses was tired and complained to God: “Why have You dealt ill with Your servant, and

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Weekly Torah Thoughts – Parashat Naso 5778

B”H Parashat Naso 5778 by Rabbi Daniela From the case of Sotah to Zelophehad’s five daughters: from oppression and humiliation to justice and equality In this week’s parashah, among other themes, appears the ordeal of the Sotah. It deals with the case of a woman who was suspected of betraying her husband. In that case, the husband had to take his wife to the Tabernacle in order that she undergo

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Tora Thoughts: Parashat Bemidbar 5778

B”H Tora Thoughts: Parashat Bemidbar 5778 Rabbi Rami Pavolotzky   Learning from the Details This week we begin the reading of the Book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Torah. At the beginning, God orders Moses to carry out a census of the Children of Israel, Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by families following their fathers’ houses; a head count of every

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Parashat Behar – Bechukotai 5778

B”H Parashat Behar – Bechukotai 5778 Rabbi Daniela “And I walk among you, and will be your God and you will be my people” (Vayikra 26:12). This week we read the last two Torah portions from the book of Vayikra. Some call the second Parashah, parashat Bechukotai, “Tochecha Haktana”, “short warning,” in contrast to “Tochecha Hagdola”, “long warning” that appears in Parashat Ki Tavo, in the book of Devarim. A

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