These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Archive: October 2011

וזאת הברכה, ve’zot ha’bracha

Posted on October 4, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

this week’s ve’zot ha’bracha, in which moshe blesses each of the tribes individually and makes his final good-byes, marks the closing parsha of our yearly torah cycle.  he then hikes up to the top of mount nevo where God shows him the entirety of the land that was once promised to abraham, isaac, and jacob.  after Continue Reading »

האזינו, ha’azinu

Posted on October 2, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

the language of parshat ha’azinu seems to be in a poetic world of its own, amidst the torah verses that surround it.  a prophetic moshe, nearing the end of both his journey and his life, spews forth a mixture of his own words with God’s in another rage against the people’s disobedience. according to moshe, Continue Reading »

וילך/נצבים, va’yelech/nitzavim

Posted on September 25, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

in this week’s double parsha nitzavim and va’yelech, we edge closer and closer to our separation with moshe and our coming together in the land of israel.  as God runs through His final instructions with moshe, He reveals that no sooner than moshe dies and the people enter the land, they are going to sin, Continue Reading »

כי תבא, ki tavo

Posted on September 20, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

parshat ki tavo, in which God reveals His master plan of divine reward and punishment, is a doozy to read.  and by doozy, i mean incredibly difficult and theologically challenging.  God unleases a litany of curses that will befall the israelites if they fail to obey the covenant.  and lest you think “hey, this curse Continue Reading »

כי תצא, ki tetse

Posted on September 6, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

    parshat ki tetse brims with examples where the men make decisions that crucially impact the women, while their opinions are completely absent from the equation.  in fact, their voices have been so successfully silenced, that often unless you were looking for them, you might not even notice they were missing in the first Continue Reading »

שופטים, shoftim

Posted on September 6, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

in this week’s parshat shoftim, moshe ensures the people that he will not be the last prophet to walk among them and speak the word of God.  rather, God will raise up another prophet to serve as a guide for the people, placing His words in his mouth and acting through him. for forty years, Continue Reading »

ראה, re’eh

Posted on September 6, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

this week’s parshat re’eh teaches a bit of the old mixed with some of the new.  the old:  don’t worship other gods.  this is something pretty fundamental to our covenant with God that we’ve covered several times over in other places of the Torah.  however, the bit of the new: don’t worship אלוהים אחרים אשר Continue Reading »

עקב, ekev

Posted on August 19, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

there’s not so much new here in parshat ekev.  moshe continues to reiteritate the people’s indebtedness to God and the importance of upholding “ומצותיו ,משפטיו ,חוקותיו: His commandments, laws, and rules” (devarim 8:11).  but buried within moshe’s retelling of חטא העגל (sin of the golden calf), an interesting discrepancy arises. here’s the scene: moshe’s just Continue Reading »

ואתחנן, va’etchanan

Posted on August 14, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

in this week’s parshat va’etchanan, moshe attempts to perform the greatest magic trick of all time:  to convince an entire nation, to truly make them believe, that they were all somewhere where they were not. the ideas of forgetting and remembering dominate this parsha in which once again moshe details all the laws and decrees Continue Reading »

דברים, devarim

Posted on August 4, 2011 by Avi Strausberg

in this week’s parshat devarim, moshe becomes a master of words.  his new-found verbosity is notable given how lacking he was in the words department forty years back.  but, a lot has changed both with the jewish people and with moshe.  and now, as the people are finally about to enter the promised land, moshe Continue Reading »

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