“Parsha to the Point” – Devarim 5778

Parshat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph This Shabbat, we begin the fifth and final volume of the Five Books of Moses. This Shabbat is also commonly referred to as “Shabbat Chazon”, so named for the opening word of the Haftarah reading: “The vision (‘chazon’) of Yishayahu (Isaiah) the son of Amotz”. This Haftarah …

“Parsha to the Point” – Matot-Masei 5778

Parshat Matot-Masei (Numbers 30:2-36:13) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph As we conclude the Book of Numbers, we read for the first time of any part of our people expressing a desire to take leave of the other tribes. We have already read about how the nation sinned, complained, and disagreed with each other – but this is a whole new level. The tribes …

“Parsha to the Point” – Pinchas 5778

Parshat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph The division of the Torah into weekly portions was not determined on Mount Sinai, and, in fact, is not an ancient practice (relatively speaking). There were times in our history when the Torah reading cycle took three years to complete, and the division into weekly portions was adjusted …

“Parsha to the Point” – Balak 5778

Parshat Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph Fearing an Israelite takeover of Moabite territory should the People of Israel pass through his realm, King Balak of Moab summons the prophet (and idolatrous wizard) Balaam and asks him to curse the Jewish people. Try as he might, Balaam proves unable to do the king’s bidding, and the parsha …

“Parsha to the Point” – Chukat 5778

Parshat Chukat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph “The entire congregation of the children of Israel arrived at the desert of Zin in the first month, and the people settled in Kadesh”. The Torah never specifies when the main events of this incident transpire. Indeed, there is no mention of which year of their desert sojourn …

“Parsha to the Point” – Korach 5778

Parshat Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32) Rabbi David Stav   This Shabbat, we will have a dispute in the synagogue. Korach and his followers rebel against Moses, and the story of the most infamous dispute in the history of the Jewish People plays itself out. Never before have we experienced such a terrible dispute with such dire repercussions, which …

“Parsha to the Point” – Shelach 5778

Parshat Shelach (Numbers 13:1 – 15:41) Rabbi David Stav   Parshat Shelach features the story of the twelve spies dispatched by Moses to scout out the land. The story ends tragically, when, after forty days, the spies return and cast heavy doubts on the nation’s ability to conquer the land from its present rulers. In response, the nation cries …

“Parsha to the Point” – Behaalotcha 5778

Parshat Behaalotcha (Numbers 8:1 – 12:16) Rabbi David Stav   The Jewish People had encamped adjacent to Mount Sinai, and is now beginning its march toward the Promised Land. But before heading out, Moses turns to his father-in-law, Yitro, and proposes that he join them for the journey. Yitro responds: “We are traveling to the place about which …

“Parsha to the Point” – Naso 5778

Parshat Naso (Numbers 4:21 – 7:89) Rabbi David Stav Parshat Naso opens with an account of the Jewish people’s last-minute preparations as they continue their journey to the Promised Land. The Tabernacle (“Mishkan”) at the heart of the encampment has been dismantled, and the members of the Tribe of Levi are entrusted with carrying its holy vessels …

“Parsha to the Point” – Bamidbar 5778

Parshat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20) Rabbi David Stav   This Shabbat, we will read Parshat Bamidbar, which begins the fourth of the Five Books of Moses. This book has two names: one is Sefer Bamidbar, and the other, Chumash Hapekudim, a name indicative of the numerous censuses recorded in the book of Bamidbar, and more specifically, in this …