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

In the Diaspora 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 …

“Parsha to the Point” – Tazria-Metzora 5778

In the Diaspora  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 …

“Parsha to the Point” – Shemini 5778

In the Diaspora Shemini 5778 (Leviticus 9:1-11:47)  Rabbi David Stav Following Passover, we resume reading the regular series of Torah readings, which contain the inauguration of the mishkan, the Tabernacle. After months of fund-raising to acquire the funds needed to build the mishkan, and a complex construction process, Aaron and his sons remain …

“Parsha to the Point” – Shevii shel Pesach 5778

Pesach 5778  Rabbi David Stav We recall that following the Jewish People’s departure from Egypt, they found themselves in a serious bind, entrapped by towering mountains to the side, their oncoming Egyptian captors to the rear, and the sea up ahead. God tells the people to enter the sea, which splits and becomes dry land as hundreds of thousands …

“Parsha to the Point” – Pesach 5778

Pesach 5778  Rabbi David Stav This year, the first day of Pesach falls on Shabbat, so we interrupt the regular sequence of Torah readings from the book of Vayikra (Leviticus), and read about the holiday of Pesach. The only indication in this reading that it occurs on Shabbat is the fact that seven people will be called up to bless the Torah, as in …

“Parsha to the Point” – Tzav 5778

Tzav 5778 (Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36) Rabbi David Stav This Shabbat, we will read Parashat Tzav. It is also the Shabbat the precedes the Passover holiday, and is widely known as “Shabbat Hagadol” – or the “Great Sabbath”. Some attribute this to the great miracle that occurred on that day, when the Jews tied sheep to their bed posts without …

“Parsha to the Point” – Vayikra 5778

Vayikra 5778 (Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26) Rabbi David Stav This Shabbat, we begin reading Leviticus (Vayikra), the third of the Five Books of Moses. The first part of the parsha deals with sacrifices, prompting our rabbis to name the book “Torat Kohanim” – the Torah of the Priests. We generally do not identify with sacrifices, and the subject …

“Parsha to the Point” – Vayak’hel / Pekudei 5778

Vayak’hel / Pekudei 5778 (Exodus 35:1 – 40:38) Rabbi David Stav In its description of the Israelites’ fundraising drive to supply the Tabernacle (Mishkan) with gold and silver for its vessels, the Torah specifies that Moses counted all of the contributions and calculated the sums so that no one would, God forbid, complain about a lack …

“Parsha to the Point” – Ki Tisa 5778

Parshat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11 – 34:35) Rabbi David Stav No event in the history of the Jewish People serves as a better basis for their collective indictment than the story of the Golden Calf, which is described in great detail in this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa. Is there anything that has not yet been said or written about the people who rallied …

“Parsha to the Point” – Tetzaveh 5778

Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)  Rabbi David Stav  This Shabbat, we will read Parshat Tetzaveh in our synagogues, and also remove another Torah scroll from the ark, from which we will read an excerpt containing the verses, “Zachor (remember) what Amalek did to you…you shall not forget!” [Deut. 25:17-19]. This is why this Shabbat is …