Tag Archives: torah portion

#TieBlog #Behar

9 May
The Liberty Bell is so named because of its inscription from Leviticus 25:10.

The Liberty Bell is so named because of its inscription from Leviticus 25:10.


“Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land, unto all its inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10). This verse, immortalized on the Liberty Bell, comes from Parashat Behar and is the theme of this week’s Parashah Tie. The Torah text is describing the Jubilee year in which all slaves are to be freed and all land to return to its original owner. The Torah’s central message in this chapter is that the land ultimately belongs to God, and humans are but strangers and sojourners before God. The founders of the US had this idea in mind in creating a country of universal liberty, though their vision took many years and a bloody Civil War to be fully realized.

#TieBlog #Vayeshev #OurGang

21 Nov
"The Little Rascals" get into mischief, and so do the sons of Jacob in this week's Torah portion.

“The Little Rascals” get into mischief, and so do the sons of Jacob in this week’s Torah portion.

In Parashat Vayeshev, we meet Joseph, the spoiled brat and favorite son of Jacob. He torments his eleven brothers with his dreams in which he predicts his dominance over them. They can’t take it any more. In a puzzling act of parenting, Jacob sends Joseph out one day to find his brothers and inquire after their welfare. They plot to kill him but relent when Judah sells him into slavery instead. Joseph goes down to Egypt and eventually achieves a position of immense power. One can only imagine what living in a house of twelve sons must have been like on a day-to-day basis. The mischief of the “Little Rascals,” may offer some clue into the brothers’ lives when they were young boys.

#TieBlog #ShelachLecha #ISpy

30 May
I Spy

I Spy

This week’s Torah portion describes the debacle of the twelve spies who go into the Promised Land to scout it out and report back to the people. Ten of them report that it will be too dangerous. The people protest that they would rather go back to Egypt. Only Joshua and Caleb give a positive report. In response to their lack of faith, God decrees that the generation of the Exodus must wander in the desert for 40 years, as they are not fit to inherit the Promised Land. Only their children will have the fresh outlook and confidence necessary to carry out this mission. In this week’s Haftarah/Prophetic reading, we fast forward to the next generation. Joshua appoints two trusted spies to scout out Jericho prior to the Israelites’ conquest. This more subdued, but successful mission stands in contrast to that of the twelve spies. With all this discussion of spies, now you can play “I Spy” on my tie of the week.