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Shabbat Beshalach (Ex. 13:17-17:16)

In this parsha, Miriam is singing her Song of the Sea. The Israelites whine about missing meat, so a quail wind blows in from the coast with the weirdest lake-effect in history, dumping 2 feet of fowl flesh on the ingrateful former slaves. Then they whine for water, and Moses performs the first full-contact Xtreme dowsing event in Jewish history. Water, water everywhere in this portion, and not a moment... read more

Shabbat Bo (Ex. 10:1-13:16)

This week our story begins with the words “God said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh'”, and thus we begin the compelling story of the Israelite’s run to freedom. The name of the portion, “Bo” literally means “go”. So limited only by your creativity and the category of food which you have been assigned, please bring “foods that go”. Not sure what this... read more

Shabbat Vaera (Ex. 6:2-9:25)

In the portion this week, God tells Moses that he appeared to the Patriarchs as “El Shadday” (literally “God of the Mountain”), not with the name he gave just last week. This poses a problem logistically because if you look back, God clearly uses that name in the text before this moment. The great Rabbis, including Rashi, Nachmanides (Ramban), Ibn Ezra and others have an... read more

Shabbat Shemot (Ex. 1:1-6:1)

In the book, “The Torah Portion by Portion” by Seymour Rossell, an explanation of the name Moshe is given (I paraphrase): Masah in Egyptian means “child of” and is typically preceded by a god’s name, i.e. TuMasah (child of Tu), or RaMasah (child of Ra) when naming a child. Pharoah’s daughter, in naming the Hebrew child whom she draws from the Nile, seems to indicate... read more

Shabbat Vayechi (Gen. 47:28-50:26)

The portion this week contains the closing verses for the book of Genesis/Bereshit. Jacob and his clan settle in Egypt and live there for 17 years, until Jacob feels that he is about to die. He calls all his children to him to give his final thoughts on them, their families and the future of the great nation he has started. Along the way, he offers to bless Manasseh and Ephraim – Joseph’s... read more

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