“Parsha to the Point” – Balak 5777

Parshat Balak (Numbers 22:2 – 25:9) Rabbi David Stav  Parshat Balak contains one of the most colorful stories in the Torah – one that seems to have been quoted right out of contemporary headlines. The People of Israel are now in the fortieth year of their long journey in the desert, and are about to enter the Land of Israel, following the deaths …

“Parsha to the Point” – Chukat 5777

Parshat Chukat (Numbers 19:1 – 22:1) Rabbi David Stav  A unique phenomenon in the Torah emerges in the sequence of events not recounted in the text. Forty years of wandering in the desert have passed, and we can only imagine all that had occurred during that time, since the Torah tells us nothing about it. It is as if the Torah is saying to us: …

“Parsha to the Point” – Korach 5777

Parshat Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32) Rabbi David Stav  Let us revisit the story of the most famous argument in the history of the Jewish people. Over the generations, disputes of a similar – and even harsher – level have been a constant in Jewish history, and show no signs of subsiding. What is the source for this dispute? What prompted …

“Parsha to the Point” – Shlach 5777

Parshat Shlach (Numbers 13:1 – 15:41) Rabbi David Stav  The story of the sin of the spies, upon which the Torah greatly elaborates, is the lead story of Parshat Shlach. The nation sets out toward the Promised Land on the twentieth day of the month of Iyar, after a stay of nearly one year near Mount Sinai. The trip should have taken about ten days, …

“Parsha to the Point” – Behaalotcha 5777

Parshat Behaalotcha (Numbers 8:1-12:16) Rabbi David Stav  After spending nearly a year at Mount Sinai, the People of Israel sets out toward to the Land of Israel, busying themselves with last-minute preparations for the arduous journey. Hashem calls Moshe, and says to him: “Make yourself two silver trumpets; you shall make them (from a) beaten …

“Parsha to the Point” – Naso 5777

Parshat Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89) Rabbi David Stav  This Shabbat, we’ll read Parashat Naso. It has 176 verses, making it the longest Parasha in the Torah (incidentally, it has the same number of verses as the longest chapter of Tehillim, and there are 176 pages in longest tractate of the Babylonian Talmud). Many of these verses describe the sacrifices …

“Parsha to the Point” – Bamidbar 5777

Parshat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20) Rabbi David Stav  This Shabbat, we’ll read the opening Torah portion of the fourth of the five Books of Moses ­– the Book of Bamidbar. Then, later in the week, we will celebrate the holiday of Shavuot, which our rabbis termed “the time of the giving of the Torah” (no explicit connection is made in …

“Parsha to the Point” – Behar-Bechukotai 5777

Parshat Behar-Bechukotai (Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34) Rabbi David Stav  This Shabbat, we’ll read Parshat Behar-Behukotai in our synagogues. Most of the social and economic issues in Biblical discourse and the Jewish world are addressed in this reading. The first part of the Torah portion discusses the laws of the Shmitta (Sabbatical) year, which recurs …

“Parsha to the Point” – Emor 5777

Parshat Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23) Rabbi David Stav  This week’s Torah portion, Emor, while covering a wide range of topics, relates to the prohibition of sacrificing blemished animals: “And if a man offers up a peace offering to the Lord…it shall be unblemished; it shall not have any defect in it” [Lev. 22:21]. Later on, the Torah …

“Parsha to the Point” – Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5777

Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (Leviticus 16:1-20:27) Rabbi David Stav  The title of this week’s Torah portion, Acharei Mot – Kedoshim (“after the death” and “martyrs”, respectively) – combined with the recent memories of Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron in mind – beckon us to contemplate the meaning of our lives. As we review …