“Parsha to the Point” – Ki Tetze 5778

Parshat Ki Tetze (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19) Rabbi David Stav In Parshat Ki Teitze, we encounter a commandment that speaks of a reality with which we are completely unfamiliar, the “eshet yefat to’ar” (taking a beautiful woman as a war bride).  Here, the Torah describes a scenario in which a Jewish soldier wishes to marry a woman captured from …

“Parsha to the Point” – Shoftim 5778

Parshat Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph Parshat Shoftim delves into the need to establish a judicial system in every town and village, for every tribe. The Torah adamantly requires us to maintain an incorruptible judicial system, forbids taking bribes, and so on. Our sages emphasize the severity of taking bribes, and describe …

“Parsha to the Point” – Reeh 5778

Parshat Reeh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph The Book of Deuteronomy (Devarim) is comprised of three important sermons delivered by Moses, and our parsha centers on the most important of the three, concerning the commandments. One of the most important commandments that Moses tends to emphasize concerns the rampant idol worship …

“Parsha to the Point” – Ekev 5778

Parshat Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph In analyzing the Book of Deuteronomy (Devarim), it is the generally accepted practice to divide the book into three sections, one for each of Moses’ major speeches. In his first speech, which ends at the beginning of Parshat Va’etchanan, Moses recounts the history of the Israelites’ …

“Parsha to the Point” – Va’etchanan 5778

Parshat Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11) Rabbi David Stav Paragraph In this week‎’s reading, Va’etchanan, while restating the commandment to preserve the ways of the Torah, Moses exhorts the people: “Diligently keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, and His testimonies. and His statutes, which He has commanded you. And you shall …

“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 …