“Parsha to the Point” – Behar 5776

Parshat Behar (Leviticus 25:1-26:2)  Rabbi David Stav  If someone were to ask me what the most “socially conscious” Torah portion is, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment with the response. If there is one part of the Torah that deals methodically and intensively with social issues, it is Parshat Behar. The portion reviews the laws of Shmittah …

“Parsha to the Point” – Emor 5776

Parshat Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)  Rabbi David Stav  The first part of the Book of Leviticus (Vayikra) discusses the sanctity of the Beit Hamikdash (Temple in Jerusalem) and features a detailed description of the priestly services there. Parshat Emor adds a new dimension of holiness to the world of the Beit Hamikdash: time. One whole chapter is …

“Parsha to the Point” – Kedoshim 5776

Parshat Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:1-20:27)  Rabbi David Stav  Parshat Kedoshim covers a very wide spectrum of subject matter whose subjects don’t seem interrelated at all, with more than fifty positive and negative commandments mentioned throughout the portion. Some, including the commandment to respect one’s parents and elders, or the prohibition …

“Parsha to the Point” – Acharei Mot 5776

Parshat Acharei Mot (Leviticus 16:1–18:30)  Rabbi David Stav  The first component of Parshat Acharei Mot deals with the Yom Kippur service conducted by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), while the second component delves into a detailed discussion on the prohibition of illicit relationships. At the conclusion of this section, the Torah adds a word …

“Parsha to the Point” – Pesach 5776

Pesach  Rabbi David Stav  The night the Jewish People left Egypt came at the culmination of a series of painstaking preparations. The Children of Israel were commanded to take sheep (which were venerated as gods in Egyptian culture), keep the animals in their homes for four days (in plain view of the astonished Egyptians), slaughter them, and use …

“Parsha to the Point” – Metzora 5776

Parshat Metzora (Leviticus 14:1 – 15:33)  Rabbi David Stav  Parshat Metzora delves into the case of a person who discovers symptoms of a disease in the skin or other parts of the body. In describing the disease and the way to be purified of it, the Torah goes into fine detail, and we learn that the case of tzara’at – commonly (and inaccurately) …

“Parsha to the Point” – Tazria 5776

Parshat Tazria (Leviticus 12:1-13:59)  Rabbi David Stav  Much of Parshat Tazria deals with various issues connected to the impurities of the spiritual illness known as “tzara’at” (commonly translated as leprosy), how tzara’at is diagnosed by the Kohanim, and how people became purified of it. However, the introduction to all of the subjects …

“Parsha to the Point” – Shmini 5776

Parshat Shmini (Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47)  Rabbi David Stav  Parshat Shemini draws its unique name from the first and central part of the weekly portion, which describes the sequence of events that transpired on the eighth day after the consecration of the Mishkan (Sanctuary) – the sky-high expectations and the terrible tragedy at the end of …

“Parsha to the Point” – Tzav 5776

Parshat Tzav (6:1-8:36)  Rabbi David Stav  Parshat Tzav takes a different approach to discussing the laws of korbanot (offerings) from the way in which they appeared in last week’s Torah portion. Instead of classifying the korbanot according to the person presenting them, differentiating between obligatory sacrifices and voluntary ones, and so …

“Parsha to the Point” – Vayikra 5776

Parshat Vayikra (1:1-5:26)  Rabbi David Stav  (Translated from the Hebrew original) Parshat Vayikra focuses on the various types of korbanot / offerings that a person could offer. In the modern age, most people find it difficult to connect to a world of korbanot, for several reasons. Some are skeptical that sacrificing an animal could lead to atonement. …