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Teachings

Below are the teachings from our weekly Torah Studies.  If you would like to join us, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can let you know where and when we meet.

Pichas Numbers (B'Midbar) 25-30

Torah portion:  Pinchas, Numbers 25:10-30:1

Haftorah Reading I Kings 18:46-19:21

In this Torah portion we read the conclusion of the activities of the Israelites following their interaction with the Midianite women.  In Numbers 25: 16-18 we read an interesting explanation of  how G-d looked at the sins of immorality and idol worship.  In these verses we read that these sins were viewed by G-d as being equally responsible for the plague G-d sent on the Israelites that took the lives of 24,000 people.  As we have studied the Torah we have seen on many occasions that idol worship was the father of all sins. Nothing was looked at as being on the level of idol worship.  I would like to share an explanation with you that might give us some answers to how here immorality and idol worship were looked at as being both responsible for Israel’s punishment.  To do this I will draw from an article that I read this week by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin who serves as the chief Rabbi of the town of Efrat in Israel.  In our society today we hear over and over that as long as we do not harm another person pretty much anything we do in okay if it brings us pleasure.  The verses above give us an important insight that refutes that idea.

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Balak B’Midbar(Numbers) 22-25

Torah Portion:  Balak B’Midbar(Numbers) 22-25

Haftorah Reading: Micah 5:6-6:8

Today we read a Torah Portion that covers a single event in the account leading up to Israel approaching the border of the Land. There are two main characters in this drama. We read of one of the characters, Balak, who was the King of Moab. If you remember, Moab was the son of one of Lot’s daughters. He was born after the two daughters of Lot became pregnant when they slept with their father after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the book of Ruth we also learn that she was a Moabite. So Balak was a distant cousin of the Jewish people who now stood at his borders seeking passage on to the Land. Balak was overcome with fear and sought the help of a well-known seer, Bilaam, to help him repel the Jews by invoking a curse.  We can hear the fear in his words in Numbers 22:4,6. He knew his only help lay in the occult.

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Chukat (Statutes) B’Midbar(Numbers) 19-22

Torah Portion:  Chukat B’Midbar(Numbers) 19-22

Haftorah Reading: Judges 11:1-33

Tonight we read one of the more difficult Torah portions to understand. It includes the death of Miriam and Aaron. It contains the verses giving Moshe notice that he will not be allowed to enter the Land, his dream and goal for over 40 years of his life. Even the name Chukat, hints at the difficulty in understanding what we are about to read. We will try to bring some clarity to this portion over the next few minutes together.

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