Tag: Tanach | תנ”ך

  • Bechukotai: Wagering on the Meaning of Meaning

    Bechukotai: Wagering on the Meaning of Meaning

    Parashat Bechukkotai is known for its aspect of tokhechah, admonition. This parashah details the consequences of pursuing God’s laws (chukkot) and commandments (mitzvot), including the positive but dwelling upon the negative, in terms of sheer number and detail. The parashah begins, “If you walk in my laws (im bechukkotai telekhu) and keep my commandments (et […]

  • Chukat: Rabbi Zushya on Moshe’s Transgression

    Chukat: Rabbi Zushya on Moshe’s Transgression

    Originally published in a local newsletter, 5779. To Rabbi Zushya, an early Hasidic master who left behind no writings but many stories, belong two of the most darkly encouraging statements about human purpose: to him is attributed the saying, “Each person should have a coat with two pockets—one pocket with a note on which it’s […]

  • Chukkat: We Cannot But Be in Process

    Chukkat: We Cannot But Be in Process

    My thoughts for Chukkat 5781 for Yeshivat Maharat’s Divrei Torah: Parashat Chukat includes one of the Torah’s great mysteries: Moshe Rabbenu is told he willnot live to lead Bnei Yisrael across the Yarden and into Eretz Yisrael on account of histransgression at the (second) striking of the rock. But what was Moshe’s transgressionexactly? What could […]

  • Chumash


    חומש – The five books of the Torah, the first five of Tanach: Bereshit, Shemot, Vayikra, Bemidbar, and Devarim; in English, via Greek and Latin: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. As the Written Torah (Torah she-be-khetav), the words of these five books have a high degree of sanctity, in distinction to those books composed […]

  • Haftarah


    Haftarah refers to an additional selection of text from the Neviim (Prophets), the second division of books of Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), read after the parashah (Torah portion of the week). The haftarah is thematically tied either to the parashah or events on the Jewish calendar. Seeking out the thematic connection is one of the […]

  • Mikraot Gedolot

    Mikraot Gedolot

    The “Rabbinic Bible” or Tanach with multiple commentaries printed on the page alongside the text. Mikra (“scripture” or “verse”) refers in Hebrew to Kitvei Kodesh, writings that have sanctity, either as a whole (the way we use the terms Tanach or Bible) or in part (the way we use the terms pasuk or verse). Mikraot […]

  • Parashah


    The common meaning of parashah (plural: parshiyot; colloquially, “parsha”) is the weekly Torah portion. The Torah (also called Chumash, or the first five books of the Bible) is divided into sections read cyclically. There are two cycles for reading: (1) An annual cycle of 54 portions, meaning that you read the entire Torah yearly (some […]