Category Archives: Torah Study

Healthy Leadership Transition

Shoftim

Please join us for Shabbat worship and Torah study, 9:30 am.

The Torah gives us a model for a healthy transition of leadership in the narrative of Moses and Joshua. That all transitions must start with an ending.

THE TROPE

Torah: Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9 – Click here.
Haftarah: Isaiah 51:12 – 52:12 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

Torah:

  1. Deut. 16: 18-22, p. 1088
  2. Deut. 17: 1-7, p. 1089
  3. Deut. 17: 8-13, p. 1090

Haftarah:

Isaiah 51:12-52:12 (4th Haftarah d’Nechamtah, of Consolation), p. 1108

Torah: Actualizing the Awe of Heaven

Re’eh

Please join us for Shabbat worship and Torah study, 9:30 am.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said that human beings come to God through both motivations: “A man totally unconcerned with his self is dead. But a man exclusively concerned with his self is a beast.” Human beings naturally engage in this world through  both our reflective and transitive selves, from both our ego-driven as well as our selfless-inspired souls. Our challenge is to overcome ego-centrism and selfishness and to actualize the Awe of Heaven. “The greatest beauty,” wrote Rabbi Heschel, “grows at the greatest distance from the ego.”

THE TROPE

Torah: Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17 – Click here.
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:11 – 55:5 – Click here.
Special Reading Shabbat Rosh Chodesh: Numbers 28:9-15

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

Torah:

  1. Deut. 11: 26-32, p. 1061
  2. Deut. 12: 1-7,  p. 1062
  3. Deut. 12: 8-10, p. 1063

Haftarah:

Isaiah 54:11-55:5, p. 1085

Torah: One Does not Live by Bread Alone

Eikev 2018

Please join us for Shabbat worship and Torah study, 9:30 am.

The Israelite’s prolonged wandering in the desert served as a learning-experience: that whether in the desert or once settled as a sovereign nation, their very existence is ultimately dependent on God’s grace, “one does not live by bread alone, but by everything that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

THE TROPE

Torah: Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25 – Click here.
Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

Torah:

  1. Deut. 7: 12-15, p. 1037
  2. Deut. 7: 16-21,  p. 1038
  3. Deut. 7: 22-26, p. 1038

Haftarah:

Isaiah 49:14-51:3, p. 1056 (Second Haftarah of Consolation)

Torah: Living Like God

Vaetchanan 2018

Please join us for Shabbat worship and Torah study, 9:30 am.

On Shabbat, we actualize the Jewish tradition’s idea of holiness, kedusha. That what constitutes holiness is not a sacred object, place, person, ritual or practice. But rather, we make the distinction between the things that are ours and the things that belong to God.

THE TROPE

Torah: Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11 – Click here.
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1 – 40:26 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

Torah:

  • Deuteronomy 3: 23-25 PAGE 1005
  • Deuteronomy 3: 26-29 PAGE 1005
  • Deuteronomy 4: 1-4 PAGE 1006
Haftarah:
  • Isaiah 40: 1-26  PAGE 1033

Torah: Completing the Missing Pieces

Devarim 2018

Please join us for Shabbat worship and Torah study, 9:30 am.

Rabbi David Hartman wrote that the Torah is not a “static, immutable inheritance passed down through an unbroken chain of transmission.” That just as we humans are in an ever-evolving relationship with God to perfect our imperfect world, we are also co-creators with God in completing the Torah.

Imagine that! God gave us His Torah with missing pieces. And God created within each of us the ability re-express His Torah throughout the generations. Our Covenant didn’t end at Sinai and with Revelation. We are in a Covenant to create, to complete the Torah as well.

THE TROPE

Torah: Devarim Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22 – Click here.
Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1 – 1:27 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

Torah:

  • Devarim 1:1-5 – P981
  • Devarim 1:6-8 – P982
  • Devarim 1:9-10 – P983

Torah: The “Promised Land” is a place of promise, not yet of fulfillment

MATOT-MASEI

We are the people of metaphor, memory and meaning. We have important stories. And we plug our everyday realities into these stories. And this is how we give them meaning.

Zion is aspirational. Beyond the physical land, the place.  The Promised Land is a place of promise, not yet of fulfillment. Its “inheritance,” its “portion” cannot be assumed. This is the difference between Prophecy and Nevuah. The Greek word, “prophet,” is about predicting the future, one that is sealed and fated. This is in contrast to Navi whose role was not to predict the future, but rather to lead, to inspire a collective change. The future is changeable. Bechirah Chovsheit. Not closed. Not predetermined. The theology of Nevuah is of what could be, not what is going to be.

Our challenge then is to embrace our human destiny to take action. This is the co-creative covenant of destiny where we humans take control of events themselves. Going from passive consumers to active participants to fulfill our own destinies.

Please join us 9:30 a.m. Shabbat morning for study and worship.

THE TROPE

Torah:
Matot: Numbers 30:2 – 32:42
 – Click here.
Masei: Numbers 33:1 – 36:13 – Click here.

Haftarah:
Matot: Jeremiah 1:1 – 2:3 – Click here.
Masei for Ashkenazim: Jeremiah 2:4 – 28; 3:4 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

  • First Aliyah: 30: 2-7 PAGE 941
  • Second Aliyah: 30: 7-9 PAGE 942
  • Third Aliyah: 30: 10-17 PAGE 942 – “Hazak, Hazak, Ve-nithazek”
  • Haftarah: Jeremiah 1:1-2:3 PAGE 968

Torah: Biblical Peace Requires Morality and Justice

PINCHAS

The Jerusalem Talmud provides one of the finest formulations of Biblical peace: “The world stands upon three things: justice, truth and peace; and all three are really one: If justice is done, truth is done, and peace is done.”

In other words, only by doing justice can peace be achieved. (Jerusalem Ta’anit 4:2). Peace and well-being can never be attained at the expense of justice and morality.

The Torah’s message of peace is predicated on a complete unwillingness to compromise morality and justice—even if force must be employed to defend them.

Please join us 9:30 a.m. Shabbat morning for study and worship. (Rabbi Tom will be out of town this week. Our members lead parts of the service.

THE TROPE

Torah: Numbers 25:10 – 30:1 – Click here.

Haftarah: I Kings 18:46 – 19:21 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

  • First Aliyah: 25:10-13 (P918)
  • Second Aliyah: 25:14-18 (P919)
  • Third Aliyah: 25:19-26:4 (P920)
  • Haftarah: 1 Kings 18:46-19:21 (P938)

Torah: A God Who Believes In Humanity

Balak 2018

The story of Balak and Bilaam is a call for the embrace of a unified, singular God, who is beyond nature, liberated from the forces of nature, a God who requires human beings to take control of their own lives. A God who believes in humanity and with whom we are in a covenant to complete Creation.

Please join us 9:30 a.m. Shabbat morning for study and worship. (Rabbi Tom will be out of town this week. Our members lead parts of the service.

THE TROPE

Torah: Numbers 22:2 – 25:9 – Click here.

Haftarah: Micah 5:6 – 6:8 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

  • First Aliyah: 22: 2-4 (P894)
  • Second Aliyah: 22: 5-8 (P895)
  • Third Aliyah: 22: 9-12 (P895)
  • Haftarah: Micah 5:6-6:8 (P915)

Torah: The Torah’s Call for Radical Egalitarianism

Peoplehood functioned as a placeholder and a worldview that upheld and solidified the core movements, institutions, and practices of twentieth century American Jewry. Jewish identity appears to be slowly but steadily moving away from a paradigm of Jewish peoplehood toward one of Jewish meaning. In this new paradigm, texts, ideas, values, and practices that answer the question “Why be Jewish?” become the primary portals for Jewish identity.

The Trope: Korach

Torah: Numbers 16:1 – 18:32 Click here.

Haftarah: I Samuel 11:14 – 12:22 – Click here.