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Khukat: Taking it Personally

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Khukat

Khukat: Taking it Personally

This week’s reading includes several enigmatic elements that have drawn the attention of scholars and commentators for millennia, including the red heifer, the death of Moshe’s sister Miryam/Miriam and a song fragment that praises a well and never mentions God. It also includes the incident at the Waters of Merivah/Quarreling, in which the Israelites yet again challenge […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Korakh

Korakh: Holiness Envy

This week’s Torah portion focuses on the rebellion of a faction of tribal leaders and its consequences.  Just three verses in, the rebels, led by Korakh, arrive en masse to confront Moshe and Aharon: “…Too much you have taken for yourselves! The entire community–all of them–are holy and in their midst is YHVH. Why then […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Shelakh

Shelakh: Spies

In this week’s reading, God instructs Moshe to send scouts to Canaan to gather intelligence about the Promised Land. He wanted to know the lay of the land, and the infrastructure that was already in place. He wanted to know what the people were like and whether they would face strong opposition. And he wanted to […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Signs

Beha’alotekha: Signs

This week’s reading includes one of my favorite passages: On the day the Mishkan/Sanctuary was set up, the cloud covered the Mishkan, over the Tent of Testimony, and at evening, it stayed over the Mishkan as the appearance of fire until morning. This is how it always was: the cloud would cover it, and at night there was […]

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