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Shelakh: What Now?

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Shelakh 2016

Shelakh: What Now?

This week’s Torah portion, Shelakh (Send), opens with the Israelite poised at the border of Canaan. God instructs Moses to scout out the land, and Moses sends them off with the following instructions: See what the land is [like] land it is, and the people who inhabit it: are they strong or weak, are they few or many? And […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Beha'alotekha 2016

Beha’alotekha: Raising Light

This week’s reading, Beha’alotekha, considers various aspects of the challenges of leadership. It begins with instructions for lighting the seven-branched menorah that had been constructed for use in the mishkan/temporary sanctuary: YHVH spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and say to him: “When you light (beha’alotekha) the lamps, let the seven lamps give light toward the front of […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Naso 2016

Naso: The Middle Way

This week’s Torah portion, Naso, includes the laws pertaining to an individual who voluntarily undertakes certain ascetic practices. Such a person is called a Nazirite. The Nazirite is expected to refrain from wine and grapes, forbidden to get a haircut and must refrain from contact with the dead. These practices, typically undertaken for a set […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Bamidbar 2016

Bamidbar: The Transformation of Identity

This week’s reading opens the Book of Numbers. Both the book and the first portion are known by the name Bamidbar, which means “in the wilderness”. It opens with a census: YHVH spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Bekhukotai 2106

Bekhukotai: Finding our Way

This week’s reading, Bekhukotai, is the last one in the book of Leviticus. Much of the portion is given over to describing consequences of living in accordance with the Torah’s instructions. If we follow the instructions, pay attention to spiritual obligations and act in accordance with them (Leviticus 26:3), then we will reap benefits that include peace […]

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