Rabbi David Stav

“Parsha to the Point” – Pinchas 5778

Parshat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) Rabbi David Stav 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 accordingly. …

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“Parsha to the Point” – Balak 5778

Parshat Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) Rabbi David Stav 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 …

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“Parsha to the Point” – Chukat 5778

Parshat Chukat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1) Rabbi David Stav “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 …

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“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 …

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“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 …

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“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 …

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“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 …

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“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 …

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“Parsha to the Point” – Shavuot 5778

Shavuot Rabbi David Stav   One of the enigmas with which our Sages struggled is the meaning behind where the Torah was given. A desert can provide an awe-inspiring backdrop, but it is usually far away from inhabited areas and the water so sorely needed by those who wander within it. Wouldn’t it have been more …

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“Parsha to the Point” – Behukotai 5778

Parshat Behukotai 5778 (Leviticus 26:3-27:34) Rabbi David Stav This Shabbat, we will conclude the reading of the third book of the Torah – the Book of Leviticus (Vayikra) – and the process by which the commandments were given at Mount Sinai. One of the peak moments is the “chapter of rebuke”, in which God tells the …

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“Parsha to the Point” – Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5778

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5778 (Leviticus 16:1-20:27) Rabbi David Stav This Shabbat, we will read the Torah portions Acharei Mot and Kedoshim. Though these two parashot ostensibly cover entirely different subjects, they share something profound in common, which is also tied to how they are structured. The first part of Acharei Mot deals with the service the high …

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“Parsha to the Point” – Tazria-Metzora 5778

Tazria-Metzora 5778 (Leviticus 12:1-15:33)  Rabbi David Stav This Shabbat, we will read the double-parsha of Tazri’a–Metzora in our synagogues. Dozens of verses outline the symptoms of various skin diseases that appear on people’s heads, in their beards, in their clothes and in their homes. Suffice it to say that nowhere else in the Torah can we …

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