Commentaries for 5782

9/11:  May we build upon the memories of those departed from this world through the blessings they bestowed upon us... 


Shabbat Shalom! Do we pursue true repentance and amends? At Beit Torah we strive to do so:

Shuvah, VaYeilech 5782 Return, Atone, Amend; Dvarim 31; Hosea 14:2-10; Joel 2:15-27


Moshe has gotten old and needs to retire.

As military leader, he has no fire.

So Joshua is charged to be HaShem’s hand,

To do HaShem’s will when Folk enter the Land,

Post-softening up those to be dispossessed,

Before the People move in and Josh can rest.


All the Law teachings to be kept with the Ark

And read at Sukkot every Shmitah year

So then all Folk could be kept out of the dark:

Women, children, men, even strangers would hear!

Although now Torah’s read throughout the year

And completed every third or - each year…


At the Tent of Meeting the transfers occurred:

Leadership to Josh; the writings by the Ark;

Predictions to Levites and to each Elder:

Moish dies; Folk stiffnecked; forewarned in song so stark,

Taught to the People that evil comes to all

If they’re idolatrous or spurn the Brit Laws…


We now encourage all to write at least part

Of a Torah during their life if they’re smart...

Recognize now your guilt, repent, and be healed”,

Shuva Haftorah says, so life will be sealed.

Do not let a mockery be our Nation

With no sign of HaShem by others perceived…

Atone in truth so blessings can be received.

As in Tashlich, hurl all sins into the sea!

The predicting poem, come the next week will be...


May we forgive trespasses against us and be forgiven for ours! May we lovingly return to a life of mitzvot!

Gmar Chatima Tova!

And Shabbat Shalom!

Our hearts go out to Afghans and the victims of Hurricane Ida. Help if you can, please.


for Sept. 18

Shabbat Shalom! Do we hear and heed the Laws of the Brit? At Beit Torah we strive to do so:

HaAzinu 5782 Listen Up and Heed!; Dvarim 32; 2 Samuel 22


Before the Heavens and the Folk Kin

Moshe’s nourishing words were spoken:

We children who strayed need to recall

HaShem who gives power to us all.

The Elders will unite, repeat the history

To all who stray: of the hungry desert eagle

Led to highlands of plenty grown fat and regal,

Forgetting Hashem, to the Brit a vexation,

Paying dearly for poor choices with misery

So deeply felt, some will repent their relation

To the evil they’ve done until they’re fully healed,

Enemies destroyed, Nations proclaiming our weal!


These words Moshe and Joshua recited

Before all the People who were warned to heed,

To rely on Brit in our hearts to save our lives…

Moshe rose up to meet Mt. Nebo’s ascension need,

Facing Jericho, the Promised Land he could see,

A long desired place where his body would never be…


The Haftorah length this week with the Parasha length competes,

An unusual occurrence, not an ordinary feat!

In deep felt gratitude David prepared his song,

Thankful to have escaped murderous Saul so long,

Enough to be rescued despite anguish and fear

As HaShem recognized his faithfulness was clear…

So David followed HaShem’s guiding lights

And knew he could reach anointed heights...


Gmar Chatima Tova!

On Yom Kippur, Wednesday eve through Thursday


And Shabbat Shalom!

Our hearts go out to Afghans and the victims of Hurricane Ida. Help if you can, please.


High Holy Days 5782


Once more we embark upon a New Year.

Once more we tremble with a well known fear:

Were we good enough to deserve Good Book sealing -

Or will we be left with adversity, reeling?


One more chance on Sukkot to shed our sins

Since on Hoshanah Rabah the willow we’ll beat

Until all leaves whirl loose upon the wind

Before the gates of Heaven then retreat.


So we wish one and all a sweet New Year

With happiness, blessings, health and good cheer!




Dripping Sukkot 5782


So up went the Sukkah taller, bigger, better

Much to the deep disagreement of the weather.

With area flood warnings, lightning, thunder, and rain;

It looks like we might have a soggy week again!


Still that won’t stop us from the very festive mood

Of lulav, etrog, and all the yummy, good food…

Of ushpizim and family joining to feast…

So we hope it will be dry for the meals at least!


Simchat Torah ! Do we rejoice in the law? At Beit Torah we strive to do so:

Simchat Torah 5782 ; Dvarim 33-4; Joshua 1:1-18; Bereishit 1-2:3


Zot Habracha, This is the Blessing

So Moshe blessed the People with much hope,

Reminding all that HaShem reached out

To beloved People in many places,

Those who in heritage and teachings stout…


The King of the Upright then spoke of tribes:

The few of the Reubenites will survive;

Judah’s tribe will be helped against their foes;

Levite’s rules followed more than kin goes;

Ben protected; Joseph blessed above bro’s;

Myriads of Ephraim as bulls, wild;

Thousands of Menashe also so riled;

Zebulan will go on journeys a lot;

Heights to sea/sand riches Issachar got;

A Lion of Justice for Israel, Gad;

A lion’s whelp from Bashan Mountains, Dan -

(Though not his portion ‘til conquered later);

Naphtali lived in South and West rich lands;

Beloved securely, Asher oil maker;

Thus all tribes were given a hopeful stand…


For all Hashem’s refuge protects, shields,

Loves so Moshe viewed the Land, the whole field

From Pisgah of Mount Nebo he saw!

Then in Moab land he went out to die

But none knew his final burial site…

For thirty days bewailed; Folk grief was raw…

Joshua as planned took over the reins.

None ever rose up like Moshe again…


Bereishit – [the beginning of] In the Beginning

Six epochs of time the Creation took.

After each one, HaShem took a good look.

Deciding that all what was seen was good…

For the seventh time frame: rest as one should...



Chag Sameach !


Shabbat Shalom! How will we start this cycle anew? At Beit Torah we we will discuss what we can do:

Bereishit 5782 In the Beginning!; Bereishit 1-6:8; Isaiah 42:5 - 43:10


Bereishit –  In the Beginning


Six epochs of time the Creation took.

After each one, HaShem took a good look.

Deciding that all what was seen was good…

For the seventh time frame: rest as one should…


Now man who was made in a lush garden was placed.

Eden it was called, a location we’ve not traced.

To not be lonely, a helpmate for him was made.

The only rule: No eating from the knowledge tree!


Serpent was wily, enticed the gullible maid

To eat the fruit of the forbidden tree -

So when HaShem came a looking, what was to see?

Both children had eaten the fruit and were hid

As they knew they were naked and no longer kids…

HaShem was wroth, a price was to be paid:

So the Serpent crawled on belly then on

And People were expelled from garden fronds…


As children do, their Cain and Abel fought.

Cain killed Abel, then by HaShem was caught -

Left to procreate inventive offspring

While brother Seth and other sibs did bring

Adam’s and Eve’s genealogy line…


Mixed with Nephilim, half- E. T.’s,

The population grew less and less fine.

Cruelty, hatred, bigotry was seen;

Wickedness and perversions did abound -

But Hashem viewed Noach with favor found...



Shabbat Shalom!

Our hearts go out to Afghans and the victims of Hurricane Ida as well as all the ever increasing gun violence victims. Help if you can, please.


Shabbat Shalom! Can we prevent another mabul? At Beit Torah we we will discuss what we can do:

Noach 5782 Arrogance; Bereishit 6:9-11:32; Isaiah 54:1-10 [Sephard]


Noach was quite kind, honest, and fair.

He had three sons for whom to take care.

Still in a world so lawless and vile,

‘Twas hard to be cautious all the while…


So HaShem chose to start once again

By bringing on a flood with much rain.

Yet before ‘twas done, Noach was told

A three deck ark to build with roof hatch

For Folk and critters and food to hold,

Including family and his catch

Of two couples each impure critter,

Of seven couples of those ones pure,

And food enough to feed all aboard…


Then seven days later came rain tour

Continuous for forty long days…

For one hundred fifty full days more

Only water afar could be seen.

Then for forty days water recedes

Until Noach sent out a raven

That ate carrion but then came back

As did the dove sent also to look

For a place to roost along her track…

Seven more days once more dove sent out,

Returned with an olive leaf sprout!

Seven days more, dove sent out again

Not to return as rest spot was gained.


Fifty-six days more, all left the ark.

Noach built a sacrifice altar

In gratitude to HaShem and Hark!

HaShem promised him “never again”

With a covenant of no blood to eat,

No murder allowed, a Rainbow Brit!


Noach was farming vineyards and land.

In drunken sleep naked found by Ham.

His youngest son was rebuked quite hard…

Yet all in re-population starred

To spread to islands, lands and cities,

Mountains, nomads, beaches, folks of seas…


With all one language, arrogance came,

So they thought to build high to their fame

A tower on which would rest their name.

If left to succeed then thought HaShem:

Any goal they would have, they could do…

HaShem with others made speech garbled,

[Why?] Communications confounded…

The tower fell amidst the babble,

The dispersion of Folk compounded...


Shem’s line led to Nachor, then Tarach,

Dad of Avram, Haran, and Nachor.

In Ur they lived until Haran died

[In the Elamite invading war?].

So Tarach took Avram, Sarai, and Lot

Away West to Chauran where they stopped

Although en route to a Canaan spot.

Lot, son of Haran, was as a son

Won to “an exalted Dad”, Avram…

Together they’ll flee moon worship lands

For trips to Egypt and Canaan sands…

----------------------------------------------------------------

my favorite:

Noach’s Journey

Afloat on a boat on waves unending -

How do forty days adrift passing feel?

A galley so large for to feed the crew

and varied critters to protect their weal…

Wind howling, G-d scowling with barf bags near…

Was there faith with trust – or perhaps just fear?


I think I would prefer a space ark rather than the sea

With cryogenic chambers of the critters yet to be.

Concentrated food and drink packs to feed those not asleep

As we all wait out the storms for the waters to recede…

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Haftorah:

Isaiah told Israel to have trust,

That her numbers would grow to be greater

Than the nations yet to be dispossessed,

To be over-run by her then later,

Without embarrassment for her as loved

By HaShem who promised her no rebuke,

No more Mabuls – rather everlasting

Loyalty and friendship – Not just a fluke!


For 10/16...   Shabbat Shalom! Where should we go to get enrichment? At Beit Torah we we will discuss what we can obtain in our present circumstances:


Lech Lecha 5782 Searching; Bereishit 12:1-17:27; Isaiah 40:27-41:16


As was the intent of Tarach to go to Canaan,

So now Avram, Sarai, and Lot decide to move on

With strong encouragement from HaShem and gathered wealth.

With HaShem’s promise of much offspring to take the Land,

They travelled bit by bit in Canaan, Negba south,

With famine following as they travelled on the sand

Until they had no choice but to go to Egypt’s house…


Now Sarai was of such beauty, she knew she had to plot

A way to save Avram from Pharaoh’s lust, ever hot.

So with both together, a sister ploy plan was got!

Yet with Sarai in harem, Pharaoh’s household, the lot,

Made ill… Per Josephus, Lot revealed Sarai as wife!

So Pharaoh banished them with extra wealth and no strife…


The Negev was too crowded for both Avram’s and Lot’s

Considerable collected servants, wealth, and flocks.

So Lot: east to Zoar; Avram in Canaan did stay,

Praising HaShem in Hevron at an altar he prayed…

Being blessed again with many offspring, Promised Land

To be their forever home, by their numbers made grand.


Around where Lot settled there were five Kings in control.

Four other Kings invaded. All people and wealth they stole.

An escapee told Avram who with men rescued all,

Including Lot and his possessions, but took no gain…

Avram only asked that his men get their full booty share….

The Salem king blessed Avram for his courage and name -

HaShem blessed Avram with Land and offspring once again,

But warned of their long servitude in a foreign fare…


Sarai had no child. Hagar, her surrogate became.

Sarai was harsh with uppity Hagar who then fled

To be returned after promised her son’s future fame:

Ishmael, Father of twelve nations, the Holy said.


Avram with Sarai promised: parent many nations

If the covenant of circumcision they maintained.

Hence Avram circumcised all his household, self, and son

So that male offspring to Sarai could still be won.

With their new names newly changed: Avraham and Sarah,

Their lives newly arranged to meet their future stations...


Haftorah:


The way HaShem works, to people it is rarely clear.

Young need to learn to follow and trust that wisdom’s way

That Israel is chosen and should no longer fear

For HaShem helps the Chosen who should trust all their days.


Shabbat Shalom!


Shabbat Shalom! How can we listen to and understand HaShem? At Beit Torah we we will discuss suggestions on how to do so:


VaYera 5782 Listening; Bereishit 18:1-22:24; II Kings 4:1-37


Near the terebinths of Mamre, some Hevron trees,

Came three strangers to Avraham in the day’s heat,

Messengers from HaShem come for Bikur Cholim

And to tell of what was yet to come, it seems.


Now hospitality reigns over pains of brit

With water, bread, milk, curds, and roasted meat complete.

Sarah would bear a son in a year it was said.

She heard and laughed in joy – at her age to be bred!


Plains of Sodom and Gomorrah to be wiped out

Twas told. Avraham bargained with HaShem – so bold!

Yet ten righteous men in those plains weren’t found about.

So HaShem prevailed to destroy those plains, their holds,

With brimstone which cremated Lot’s wife as they fled

With their two daughters to Zoar, messenger led…


Still Zoar was not quiet, might yet be destroyed…

Therefor Lot and his daughters were more than annoyed…

They went up the hills to a cave, food and wine stocked.

With no others near them, the girls feared they were locked

Into celibacy in a new world without men.

So they plied Lot with wine until pregnant with sons:

Moab and Ben-Ammi, who then later become

Moabites and Ammonites. For Folk, erstwhile friends.


In Gerar the sister-wife ploy was used once more.

With an infertile household, Abimelech King

Heard from HaShem of the plot in a vivid dream.

He paid Avraham his household health to restore

Since the dream said he had Prophet magic galore!


Sarah bore her son, Yitzchak, in less than a year -

With an eighth day Brit and upon weaning feast…

Ishmael could inherit, not her son, she feared.

Then to stop inheritance rights, Hagar was freed

While promised many nations her son would lead!


Avraham, Abimelech got along indeed.

So when there was a well dispute’s settlement need,

King Abimelech said Avraham dug that well.

As well marker was planted a tamarisk tree…


Now perhaps most perplexing during Yitzchak’s youth

Was Avraham’s taking him and wood up to pray

On a mountain with an altar but no goose…

Was Yitzchak rebellious? To be shown the way,

Avraham bound him on altar as if to say

Our HaShem will save you yet on this very day!


Lo! A ram tangled or tied in brambles was seen,

Then ‘twas used for sacrifice. Yitchak got off clean

With respect for HaShem reinforced in his mind,

Yitzchak, in shock, left alone, his own path to find…


Lastly the family line of Nahor is told

Listing Rifka and other cousins in the fold…


Haftorah:


To Elisha, a widow her woes cried out:

In debt; destitute; facing slavery too…

So he said: gather vessels from all about

Which he caused to be filled with oil, brand new,

Til there was enough for all debts to be paid

And to live comfortably all of their days…


A Shunnamite gave Elisha a place to rest

And a room while bemoaning not having a son.

As promised by Elisha, next year she bore one

Who as a child did play in the hot fields and yet

Was stricken with heat exhaustion and seemed quite dead.


The Shunnamite hurried to Elisha in deep grief.

He quickly returned with her for the child to tend,

Reviving him mouth-to-mouth, body warmth to mend…

The child sneezed seven times to his mother’s relief!



Notes: 1- When Lot split from Avraham it was said he went towards Zoar however in this Parasha is when Zoar got its name!!!

2- As per earlier in Torah: The Dead Sea was formed [during the destruction of the Plains of Sodom and Gomorrah] from the Valley of Sidim.


Shabbat Shalom!

Our hearts go out to Afghans and the victims of Hurricane Ida and other disasters. Help if you can, please.


Shabbat Shalom! How can we value all folk equally? At Beit Torah we we will discuss whether we do or not, and how to improve as needed:


Chayei Sarah 5782 Valuing Women; Bereishit 23:1-25:18; I Kings 1:1-31


Now Sarah lived for one hundred twenty-seven years;

Died in Hevron. Yitzchak twenty-seven then would be,

A son with his own path; Ishmael almost forty:

Good life near Egypt another ninety-seven years…

So alone, Avraham, then bought a burial site

Near where he had settled, from a neighboring Hittite.


His Chief Servant a wife for Yitzchak would find, he swore,

From the Cousins in the northern city of Nahor…

Only to bring her back after bride price paid and more:

Gifts for the drooling family after she agreed.


So with ten camels laden with wealth he went to seek

A fair maiden who would care for himself and his beasts,

(Who gladly would leave her brother and his deep set greed.)

With Rifka in tow, he returned Negba to Yitzchak:

Grieving his Mom! Love at first sight! She would fill his nights!


Avraham was lonely, too. Wife Keturah he took

For six more sons who with gifts gone East

Towards Northern Arabia, Aramenian land.

So while inheriting all was his beloved Yitzchak

Who with brother Ishmael buried in fashion grand

Their Father with Mother Sarah when he aged and died

After a long life at one hundred seventy-five…


Haftorah:


Old King David kept warm by Abishag virgin

Was a bit out of it on matters of the days.

So second son Adonijah, spoiled, claimed the throne.

Most folk did not support him nor his corrupt ways

Which threatened to murder all those who opposed him.


Hence the Prophet Nathan told Bat-Sheva all what to say

To David: ‘You promised Solomon to be King one day!’

Nathan on cue entered to warn of Adonijah’s scare,

So King David then declared Solomon to be his heir!


Shabbat Shalom!

Our hearts go out to Afghans and the victims of Hurricane Ida and other disasters. Help if you can, please.


post note:

It is not often that something annoying pops up in comments about the parashot.  However this past week someone posited the truly unsupported and pedophilic suggestion that Rivka was three years old when Yitzchak married her.  A three year old would not have been put in charge of the livestock feeding and watering.  Further it is hard to imagine a three year old riding a camel by herself, jumping off by herself, and making sexually aware actions and comments upon when seeing her intended.

In Talmudic discussions it is recognized that these abuses occur.  Hence the discussion was on how bride price is affected.  However there is at no time an approval of such abusive behaviour.  Nonetheless there have been ‘Rabbis’ who support such a horrific suggestion.  There have also been a number of ‘Rabbis’  who have been caught [and some even prosecuted] for pedophilia with 7-8 y.o. boys in yeshivot.

Typically when early age marriages were arranged, the girl child would be taken into the groom’s family but no marriage was consummated until after she started menses.  Even so, there have always been abuses by perverted men which often then later had to be addressed by the religious courts.

Shabbat Shalom! How can we mesh Jewish values with cultural norms? At Beit Torah we we will discuss whether we do or not, and which culture[s] we need to adopt:


Toldot 5782 To be a Hurrite; Bereishit 25:19-28:9; Malachi 1:1-27


Yitzchak grieved for thirteen years before Rivka came on the scene.

For twenty years more he begged HaShem to give him some offspring…

Twins took hold in Rivka’s womb. She asked HaShem to stop their fight.

HaShem promised her two mighty nations they would grow to be

With the older serving the younger, in future she would see.


Red Esau came first, then Yaacov holding his heel most tightly:

Red outdoor hunter to meet Dad’s palette with spiced meat just right;

Pensive Mama’s boy home-body, learning from all in his sight.

For Yaacov’s stew, hungry Esau, under oath, sold his birthright…


Famine made Gerar, Philistia, a welcome place to go.

Yitzchak did fear. So they tried another sister-wife show.

Yet Avimelech was wise to them, but understood fearful thoughts.

So he told all his countrymen: as to Yitzchak, your hands keep off!


Then Yitzchak settled near Gerar gaining herds and many folk,

But some Philistines were jealous and Avraham’s wells clogged up.

Avimelech was concerned, told Yitzchak it was no joke,

That he needed to leave town before skirmishes would erupt.

So to Wadi Gerar he moved, but was chased from two wells more

[Esek and Sitnah] until the third, Rehovot, was good score!


Yitzchak’s men dug a seventh well. Avimelech came to meet,

Along with his entourage, he sued for peace, a sworn Pact, Brit!

The well (Beer), called Sheva, gave water. Beer-Sheva the place was named.

Yehudit and Basmat, Hittite wives of Esau, were his shame…


With Yitzchak’s eyes failing, he asked Esau to hunt, cook some game

To be blessed… Rivka prepared Yaacov to go in his stead

With Esau’s clothes, kid skin arms, savory goat favorite stew…

Yaacov was blessed with all brothers as servants the Hurrite way…


Esau swore to kill his brother once his Father died. Enraged,

He caused his Mom fear. She sent Yaacov to Laban as he fled,

But told Yitzchak it was for him to find cousin wives to woo…

Esau, to please them, took Ishmael’s child, Machalot, to wed.


Malachi Haftorah:

It seems HaShem preferred Yaacov’s over Esau’s ways

As a “Father” deserves honor and reverence through all days.

So why scorned? Altars defiled? Cursed are all folk and Priests who stray!

Still the Levite Brit stands if they follow truth, lead none astray...

Shabbat Shalom!


blast from past:

Toldot 5781 ; Repeating; Bereishit 25:19-28:9; Malachai 1:1-2:7


Once again two brothers, sibs looking like day and night,

one righteous and caring, the other ready to fight.

Once again two paths of opposite extremes,

both leading to great nations by either means.

Was it a con on Yitzchak or a story to share

with neighbors whose bias was firstborn inherit there?

Yet Hurrite practice was to the most worthy must go

inheritance despite needing to flee in fright and woe!



Shabbat Shalom! How can we incorporate Jewish values into our families? At Beit Torah we we will discuss how best to do so:

Vayetzei 5782 Family Vagaries; Bereishit 28:10-32:3; Hosea 11:7-12:12 [Sephard]


On the way to Laban in Charan, Yaacov had a dream

About a passage up to HaShem, traffic going both ways.

Therein HaShem again promised land and numerous offspring

As promised before to Avraham and Yitzchak in their days -

Including saying that all other nations will bless their stand…

Yaacov bargained that if he returned home safely indeed,

He would embrace HaShem who there dwelt at Beth-El… thus vowed he!


Continuing eastward, Yaacov found folk near a well who

Pointed to Cousin Rachel and all her flock – and Laban knew…

So Yaacov moved the well stone and watered so her’s could share...

Then they went home to be welcomed by Laban: his sister’s son

To his home and for his daughters – a potential groom had come!

With deceit he charged fourteen years labor for both daughters fare…


With twelve children in tow, Yaacov wanted to go on home

But Laban convinced him to stay.

For six more years of labor with speckled, spotted, dark, and roan

Goats and sheep given as his pay.

Laban gave him a flock to tend with none of these color tones.


Yet Yaacov bred many claiming HaShem said to use rods

Carved with desired patterns to gain

Some speckled, spotted, dark studs for breeding colors of the same…

A good story for the soo ignorant Laban and his sons…

Facts say Yaacov’s careful observations likely were done.


Laban’s sons were jealous. For Yaacov ‘twas time to go home.

So while Laban was out shearing, on camels with flocks they flee…

On third day Laban chased – a week to overtake them it took

And to accuse them of sneaking away with an idol crook…

Yaacov trusted that there was nothing amiss to be seen.

He let Laban search, naive to realities of deceit…


Not so with Rachel who understood well her Father:

To restrain violence he surely would not bother.

She knew she needed to interrupt his decisions

By removing his counselors, idols of visions...

So that claims to property and children became moot;

So that in local court he could never win a suit.


Thus Jacob, Leah, Rachel showed family unity

With fourteen plus years resisting Laban’s impunities.

Still discord and fear of Father Laban, his offspring,

Who were ready to fight for all flocks, lands, and well springs -

Until a treaty was agreed to amid a feast,

With boundary markers set and servitude released!

Would Laban have agreed to such a complete defeat

Had HaShem not warned him to desist while in a dream?

So that place was called Gal-ed, later, Mitzpah’s the name…


Then HaShem’s folk met Yaacov near the Canaan border.

Mahanaim thence named to recall their return’s fame…


Sephardic Haftorah:

To give up on the unfaithful Folk, HaShem refused.

So the lands of Ephraim and Judah were beseeched

Repeatedly: return to HaShem, no Laws abused,

To avoid dishonesties, idolatries eschewed

Until forgiveness, repentance, and returns are reached…

The Ashkkenazi version ends on a more positive note:

Forgiveness, repentance and returns will be achieved.


Shabbat Shalom!

Our hearts go out to Afghans and the victims of Hurricane Ida and other disasters. Help if you can, please. May we honor our Veterans and their families by providing good counselling, good jobs, good family assistance as needed, good medical care, etc.!


Shabbat Shalom! How can we heal the divisions in our families? At Beit Torah we will discuss how we’ve tried:

Vayishlach 5782 Family ; Bereishit 32:4-36:43; Ovadia 1:1-21


Yaacov struggled with his pain

over fear of brotherly wrath.

One misstep done and he could go lame

or even lose sons along his path.


Then in fierce struggle with his inner pain,

Yaacov pulled his hip… Was it a sprain?

With whom he struggled, would not give his name -

Although Yaacov’s to Israel name was changed.


Hard to overcome family discord

as when broken sib trust must be restored:

Language is cautious, actions even more so

as family unity’s where they must go:

‘I now won’t step on yours, please do not step on mine.

If together we do so, we both should be fine.’


Yet even that path was still fraught with danger

When Dinah was raped by a Princely stranger.

Shimon and Levi killed all the Shechem men,

Vengeance for their sister’s rape – and then

They fled: midwife Devorah did die;

Rachel, bereft, in childbirth did cry:

“By my suffering I am killed.”

Jacob’s sorrow could not be stilled…


[But Son Reuven did not flee,

Clan leader he tried to be...]


Jacob buried Rachel on the way

to Father Yitzchak, where he could stay,

who lived one hundred eighty years we’ve heard:

By both Jacob and Esau was interred…


Both the twins went on to live long, fruitful lives.

Esau’s line in this parsha end is described...


Haftorah:

Ovadia believed that revenge on Esau should be taken,

So he predicted a war with Edom was in the making

From which all Edomites would end up removed,

The Land would be possessed and judged, all idolatry destroyed

With return of morality, the Torah Law re-deployed...


Shabbat Shalom! Can we avoid family misbehaviours? Such we’ll discuss at Beit Torah:


VaYeishev 5782, Family Misbehaviours or Yad HaShem?; Bereishit 37-40; Amos 2:6 -3:8


Beloved Yosef grew up favored and spoiled

What with tattling on concubines’ offspring.

So of course they were jealous and quite roiled

When told of bowing to him in his dreams…


Yisrael sent Yosef to check on his bro’s

On a day they moved from Dothan to Shechem.

While plans to kill Yosef grew as hatred grows,

Brother Reuven said ‘no!’, ‘in a pit put him!’

Then they all sat to eat and talk about him

When Judah saw traders in a caravan

And said ‘sell him!’ to save him and change the plan…

Yet, tell Father with bloody coat that he was dead…

While traders to Egypt’s Potifar sold his head…


Potifar’s lustful wife tried for Yosef’s bod’

He refused. She lied that he had grabbed her, lewd…

Pharaoh’s guard took Yosef to jail where he grew

To be in charge of other inmates he knew.

So when they had weird odd dreams, they asked his view...

Told them true: baker dies, cupman’s job renewed

On Pharaoh’s birthday! ‘Yosef’ cupman forgot…


From Judah’s sons, Er and Onan, Tamar was widowed twice.

Third son Shelah was ‘too young’, so Tamar was told to wait.

Judah’s wife died. He cried, then went to Timnah for sheep to shear.

Tamar had upset friends who helped her plan how to be nice

To Judah along his way posing as a harlot dear.


His signet seal, staff and cord, he left as promise of pay…

But Tamar went on home. The harlot was not to be found.

Three months later, Tamar could be seen with child all around.

Burn her’ Judah said until stopped as Tamar spoke out loud:

This seal, staff and cord belong to the father in this case’

Judah thought and declared her most righteous, decree erased…


Come term were twins. Zerah’s hand first but Perez out ‘fore him.

Two babes for two dead mates… a twist of fair justice for them..

Great things are yet to occur for the house of Judah’s bairns.

From Judah’s sad losses were Israel’s glorious gains!


Said HaShem, as per Amos, there is a reason

You went down to Egypt and were brought out again.

Still, you have defiled our Brit in ev’ry season

For greed or lust, violating the pure for gain.

Yet I destroyed the Amorites, brought you to their site!

So now I will make your every move hollow

Until you let the Prophets speak and them follow.

Then, the purpose of my works and acts will come to light!


Hope , Chanukah 5782


We light Chanukah Candles for eight days.

Each day’s import differs from group to group.

Yet each is a value with need to fight

To repair the World with all of our might…


At times it looks hopeless when others do stray,

Preventing reaching essential goals this way…

Still perhaps these lights can brighten the loop

To avert disaster’s return to stay…


Chag Sameach’ we greet; candles we light

Embracing each other with Hope each night!

Shabbat Shalom! Are family intrigues harmful? It is a topic we’ll discuss at Beit Torah:


Shabbat Chanukah/ Miketz 5782; Family Intrigues; Bereishit 41-44:17; Zechariah 2:14-4:7


Today Chanukah comes with this week’s portion together

When famine occurs and the tribes need to decide whether

To starve slowly or take the trek and risk Egyptian wrath

Of the overseer of grains who so obscured their path.


First ask: How did he get there, this strange overseer guy?

He was in jail in charge of sleazeballs, murderers, and crooks.

He came to troubled Pharaoh’s attention and here’s the why:

Pharaoh’s dreams, advisers could not suss through their second looks!

Lo! The forgetful cupman got a swift memory boost.

He suddenly recalled Yosef and his odd weird dreams’ truths!


Thence Yosef divined Pharaoh’s dreams’ portents and response needs.

When Pharaoh a food store vizier of Yosef then did make,

He called him Zaphenath Paneah, sustainer of life;

He gave him On’s Poti-phar’s daughter, Asenath, as wife

(Was she Dinah’s daughter adopted as Poti-phar’s seed?);

And status and finery to wear, all he could take,

So that he could have two sons and a rich life

Safe from the famine and able to help others

Such as the Canaan strangers who in fact were his brothers.


Since Yosef could foresee the famine that was yet to be,

Pharaoh told him: Make some stores to last famine years and more.

Then when famine raged about, Josef’s bro’s came for food to seek

Not knowing their lost brother oversaw the food stock store…


Mixed emotions of anger, love and revenge engulfed him,

So at first Joe told no one of facing challenging kin.

Instead he barked at them to return only with their youngest.

Hence when famine raged harder Yehudah to Israel swore

To protect Binyamin when they took him to Egypt, west.

Yet Yosef, overcome, with his full sib’s time wanted more.

So he hid by Ben a double portion and his wine cup

To challenge his brothers to let Ben stay there, give him up...


Chanukah: who’s righteous and who’s the dreamer?

Who clings to the Holy? Who’s just a schemer?

Will we, like Hannah coerced by tyrants, give up our lives and dreams?

Or let those of some other faiths impose their dogma upon us?


Chanukah proclaims that stand to reject religious oppression.

Tikun Olam is preferred to sin of omission confession!

Yet do we heed the call to not hide, to dream and teach for freedom?

Or are we in shadows not seeing those Civil Rights? We need some…


We at Beit Torah pray for all parts of this country to be reunited. The benefits of reuniting and working together are shown in this week’s portion of Parashat VaYiggash:


VaYiggash 5782; Reunion; Bereishit 44:18-47:27; Ezekiel 37:15-28


The Royal wine cup’s in Ben’s bag. How can they pain stave?

Judah’s promise spurs him on to offer self as slave.

So Judah spoke to defend his Father

From his youngest son also being lost.

Yosef sobbed, overcome with emotion,

In private told them what treachery cost:


With Pharaoh’s blessing, Yosef administered all

As Yad HaShem to a family guided his path.

Soon he had respect, honor, finery and two sons

As well as the power to protect others at last:

Egyptian family able to save them!


So to bring Jacob back to Egypt they went

With wagons and gifts from the Pharaoh were sent.

Now Jacob at one hundred thirty years old

Was wizened, depressed, cranky and prone to vent.

Clearly Jacob was very feeble and cold

When “Yosef, your son, is alive!” he was told:

Serah sang a sweet song to him so that he truly would believe... (Did she?)...

Yosef is still alive” she said, “Go over to Egypt and you will see!”


So he packed up his flocks and folk to travel the trek to his long lost son,

To bless the Pharaoh before he died, knowing that safety now had been won.

En route at Beer Sheva he stopped to give sacrifices of gratitude.

There Hashem told him by divine hand they’ld return after an interlude...

It is said there were seventy tribe souls en route, but we need to recall

That not all of the women [wives and daughters] nor servants were counted at all!


When to Egypt Jacob finally arrived.

He happily wept that his Yosef was alive!

The brothers were told for Pharaoh to say

Their livelihoods were as livestock breeders.

Now those proud brothers followed their own way

And truthfully told Pharaoh: Shepherds are we;

In Goshen’s pastures for now let us stay

While our breeders do Pharaoh’s work by day.


Judah led them to Goshen to thrive and prosper.

Others, in famine, indentured themselves for food…

Some became serfs who paid fifth of produce for land,

A plan that worked quite well with the Pharaoh at hand.

Pharaoh was then enriched with flocks and food payments…

Until another Pharaoh came and changed the mood…


Haftorah:

Ezekiel foresaw two family branches united,

Ephraim and Yehudah, two nations into one in peace,

With righteous governing under Laws of HaShem, purified,

An extension of the Davidic Dynasty, sanctified -

Or did he mean it’s the ethical Solomonic line’s lease?


We at Beit Torah pray for healing given recent traumatizing events. May we successfully meet the challenges posed as they did in this week’s portion of VaYechi:


VaYechi 5782; Descent into Oppression; Bereishit 47:28-50:26; 1 Kings 2:1-12


Now Ya-acov lived seventeen years more with family all around.

Although carried by others to and fro, his deep joy and peace were found.

As he got older, he longed for home, all those years he’d missed.

So to bury him with his folks, Yosef he made promise;

Then he adopted Yosef’s two sons, Joe’s double portion..


He gathered other sons to tell them their flaws and strengths.

Each gained a blessing o’er what they had done or not done

Before he rested and came to his long journey’s length:

Forty days to embalm, with no Egyptian blessing to preserve…

Thirty days of national mourning and then they went on their way,

An entourage to Canaan, leaving children and livestock behind,

Brought Egyptian dignitaries, Israel’s household and sons away

With Yosef’s household to bury their Patriarch without reserve -

The Peoples of both lands honored them well and to them were kind…


There were seven days of mourning held at the burial site…

Despite his brothers’ fears, Yosef forgave their earlier strife…

Yosef lived on to see three generations Ephraim’s spawn

And grandkids from his other son before ‘twas time to move on

Post-promise to be embalmed, returned with the tribes to Canaan...


Hence, too, another ending of one hundred and ten years of Yosef’s life,

Embalmed and in waiting to return home to Canaan with all of the tribes.


Kings haftorah:

King David on his death bed told Shlomo to be strong;

To follow all HaShem’s ways and the Laws all day long

In order to succeed as a wise Ruler and King.

Then pettiness grabbed David with last requests given:

Take revenge on physical and verbal violent;

Reward the loyal who helped out to go on living…

Then David expired after being King in Hevron

Seven years and thirty-three years, Yerushalayim!


Shabbat Shalom!


We at Beit Torah pray for all manner of blessings as we embark on a new Book of Torah:


Shemot 5782 ; The rise of a leader; Shemot [Exodus] 1:1-6:1;

Sephard: Jeremiah 1:1-2:3; Ashkenaz: Isaiah 27:6 - 28:13; 29:22 - 29:23


It is the Pesach story that starts the Book of Names,

Shemot, a saga with intrigue, harsh plagues, and games.

We start with the cruelty of a conquering Pharaoh

Enslaving some peoples unto hopelessness and woe,

Moaning and groaning under oppression e’re they go;

Decreeing death to newborn boys without a care – Oh

But for Shifra and Puah who refused to do so

By saying strong Hebrew women did not need their help

When a baby boy or girl by themselves they could whelp.


Then Yochevet’s baby in a closed cradle was placed

As Sis Miriam to the Princess swiftly did race.

From water did I pull you,” the Princess exclaimed.

As a result, henceforth, Moshe will be your name.”


When grown he saw an overseer vilely act.

He killed him. ‘Twas known to Hebrew Slaves as a fact,

Discovered when he stopped a Hebrew slaves’ fight with tact.

So he fled to Midian, to a Priest’s daughters was kind,

All seven as he sat by the well, shooed bullies away,

Watered flocks for the girls… They were home early that day...

Family friendship with Zipporah to wife he did find.

Soon a dear son came along for him to mind…


This story took off here when HaShem now did appear

In a burning bush that neither ashed nor disappeared!

HaShem did proclaim, “To Egypt you must go:

From Horeb to Pharaoh for desert prayers to plead

For all Hebrews with elders, wives, and children in tow -

Just as was given to other folk when such was their need.”

Moshe declined as unworthy and unable to speak,

Unable to give HaShem’s name, overall too weak…

Then HaShem said to say, “G!d of Patriarchs, Ehyeh,”

To the Israelite elders, “will liberate us! Yeah!”

A snake rod, a hand with white scales, dry land blood water

Are grand signs for in Pharaoh’s court to be seen and heard.”

Moshe’s protest: ‘I’m not worthy! ‘Twill be a slaughter!”

So let Aaron convince them with his eloquent words,”

Said HaSHem as he promised with their neighbors’ wealth

There later would be an exit at night in stealth…


So Moshe asked from Yitro, top Midian Priest, permission to go

While HaShem said, “Egyptian firstborn die if plea’s refused by Pharaoh.”

Some of this prediction Zipporah did hear

Hence for her Egyptian firstborn she clearly did fear.

So he would be a Hebrew, his small foreskin she took

To save his life when the Angel of Death came to look.


Yet when Moshe asked Pharaoh for wilderness prayers,

He and Aaron were laughed out of court, kicked down the stairs!

As life became harder with withdrawn straw for the bricks,

Hebrews could not meet quotas, could not use sticks…

Those Hebrews did curse them, causing them both such despair…

Still HaShem cautioned patience: “Moshe, we will get there!”


Sephardic Haftorah:

HaShem told Jeremiah: known before birth Prophet you’ll be.

Jeremiah then protested that he was unable to speak.

Hence HaShem in response reached out and touched the then young youth’s mouth

To let HaShem’s divine words flow forth from above and on deep

To predict disaster from idolatrous North for the South…

But Yerushalayim’s fortifications were able to hold

With the promise to give HaShem’s due by the faithful and bold…


Ashkenaz Haftorah:

Suffering in the past purged the sins away

So Israel can blossom,” Isaiah did say,

From a forsaken land to one filled with life.”

Still those people not in sync could find no grace,

No mercy to violators in that place.

Those drunkards with power were doomed soon to be lost.

As the dispersed gathered in, the strayed were the cost.

The House of Jacob stood tall, no longer shamed

For they all in awe did hallow HaShem’s name!


Handling pandemics and plagues are a present challenge to us in every generation. We at Beit Torah discuss the most up to date data available:

VaEra 5782 ; Handling Pandemic Plagues; Shemot [Exodus] 6:2-9:35; Ezekiel 28:15-29:21


Is Exodus two accounts made one in meld

Of plague times when some of Semites were expelled

And slave times of many backgrounds who rebelled?

No details were given last week in our preview.

So now we embark on this version number two…



HaShem promised Moshe soon there would be release

Even though the Hebrews firmly refused to believe

In eighty year old Moshe, for HaShem a groaner;

In the Patriarchs’ Brits with the Tetragram owner

To answer moans and deliver by unusual means

Possession of Canaan to folk without hope it seems...



Then Moshe, in fear, said he truly could not speak,

So HaShem spoke to Aaron, his spokesman to be.

Hence to prove his credentials: lineage revealed

[Though Miriam’s not mentioned as to Yocheved born].

Thus now with this info was his leadership sealed,

Moshe and Aaron returned to their task forlorn.



When going back to Pharaoh with his hardened heart,

Aaron’s snake rod swallowed the magicians’ - all parts.

Pharaoh still said ‘no’, your folk to pray can not go’ -

Despite other nations being allowed to do so!

Hence in the umbra of Thera, Egypt’s plagues did come

But lesser in Goshen, Thera’s penumbra, some plagues none…



Now blood was the first plague in water, wood, and stone

Since volcanic iron oxide paints all red roan;

Poisons the water so that fish die, rot and smell;

Lets uneaten tadpoles escape to land as well..

Now light volcanic ash is like lice on skin cooking;

Will kill food sources, so hungry insects come looking;

Will sicken the air so that all will feel ill until

The skin bubbles open as blisters or boils in pain

Only to be struck by fiery hail and again

Another plague since Pharaoh refused still…


Historical documentations by the Ipuwer papyri [circa 1600 BCE] support the occurrence of the biblical plagues and coincided with the first of the expulsions of Semites from Egypt and with the massive volcanic explosions of Thera that destroyed around half the island about 400 miles away from Egypt. This is consistent with the teachings of the Rambam, Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, and others that HaShem does not violate natural laws but uses them to cause what appears to us to be ‘miracles’.


Haftorah, Ezekiel:

Now when at first his prophecy did not occur,

In seventeen years Ezekiel tried once more

With adding that bounty to Babylon must go

From desolate Egypt and dispossessed Pharaoh.

Said around ten years post-Babylonian exile…

Then Israel gathered in to a secure land while

Despisers punished and HaShem reclaimed the Nile...


Shabbat Shalom!


Convincing the leaders of governments at all levels to ethically follow the facts with compassion seems nigh on impossible in times of extreme divisions. How to try to do so is the focus of Beit Torah this week:


Bo 5782; Convincing Pharaoh; Shemot (Exodus) 10:1-13:16; Jeremiah 46:13-28


Now there wasn’t much left to drink or eat

After the bugs and the boils and the beasts,

So when hungry locusts then swarmed the land

Almost naught for people remained but sand.


Even when locusts to marshes were blown,

Pharaoh continued refusing to yield.

So blind you are,” Aaron then told Pharaoh,

A darkness plague will make your blindness real.”


Volcanic debris in Thera’s umbra

Made particle filled air quite touchable.

Nine Ipuwer days or three from Torah,

Both caused asthma or fear, so palpable

That the people were more than ready to go

If only okayed by the cruel Pharaoh…

Alas, he said ‘no’, no flocks could go…

Hence from the neighbors riches to “borrow”-

Post-firstborn deaths. Folk fled on the morrow.


So momentous a moment, Sages say,

That we must remember each year this day

With signs on our hands, also between our eyes,

To recall Egyptian servitude cries

Which led to freedom for all who did heed:

Blood on Lintels, roast lamb on which to feed,

Burn all the leftovers, flee at dawn’s break

With unleavened bread of no time to bake.


Further, to HaShem our firstborn belong

Recalling that last plague of dark horror.

That we were set free becomes now our song

Recalled each year in matzah and maror,

With no leavening in all of the house,

With Exodus story told to kids and spouse…

Then, only circumcised allowed to eat

Though the Law upheld for all folk to meet...


The Death of the Firstborn can also be tied to the toxic deposits of the volcanic debris and ash. Since all food sources were destroyed save the tar covered warehouse pits, all Egypt would have used them. However first portions always went to the firstborn - and they would have been the most toxic if not deadly from absorbed volcanic output. This would have been most toxic in the heaviest umbra deposits. Goshen to the East was in the penumbra and had lighter effects from plagues. How they avoided tainted grain is not clear. What would you do to save your firstborn? - or would you try to save all the people?


Haftorah:

Once more an Haftorah predicting Egypt’s fall.

Once more laid barren, wasteland, by Babylon’s hand…

So Jeremiah joined Ezekiel to call

For Israel to lay low while fights surround their Land...


Shabbat Shalom!


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah wonder if we now have Amalekites to oppose:


Shabbat Shira, BeShallach 5782; Oppose Amalek; Shemot [Exodus] 13:17-17:16;

Judges 4:4 - 5:31 Ashkenaz; 5:1-31 Sephard


What does one do when one suddenly becomes free

Without any experience as to what can be?

Quite unlike Moshe who was years Egyptian raised,

Also lived in Midian for many of days,

Remembered to take Yosef’s bones along the way,

Not sure how long in the wilderness they would stay...


What did those Hebrews do when they too became free?

They groaned and bemoaned o’er what for them could not be…

In shock at Sukkot, weary travelers’ waystop,

They could not guess what ahead still would be their lot.

Along that cool, spring wadi, so wet and so green,

Not realizing what travelling east would mean:

Chased by Pharaoh’s chariots and quite loyal troops,

Once more they fled with their flocks in very large groups

Nearing irrigation canals’ northernmost lake.


Now given that on the northern garrison road

Locals and sea refugees were coming to blows,

To the Sea of Reeds was where they needed to go,

Area known to Moshe from jobs with Pharaoh:

Camped then near the mouth of canals, Pi-HaHirot,

At the edge of wilderness by the Sea of Reeds,

Facing Baal-Zephon [the Northern Ballah Lake]

Between Migdol [garrison tower] and the sea...


To control water sluicing some work it would take

After a night of intense smog where none could see...

At dawn a time of relatively dry land would be

For all flocks and folk to walk over to the other side

Until Moshe’s arm went down, signal to let waters ride

And cover the pursuing army now trapped in the muck.

Chariots and horses and men could not flee. They were stuck.


While Moshe and Miriam and all the people were very glad,

HaShem was a bit cross as death of horses and men is so sad.

Still they sang their joyous songs in gratitude to HaShem.

Moshe rejoiced that the people were delivered

While the Pharaoh’s host was buffetted and slivered

As they drowned in the rock filled flooding waters’ rush.

Both Moshe and Miriam to HaShem thanks gave.

Other nations of that time felt much terror such

That they feared Hashem for how HaShem freed the slaves.


Next Folk continued their long journey to the east:

Several wilderness days trek came to the brink

Of Marah bitter waters, dunked honeywood made them sweet;

Elim Oasis was water with no parasites to drink;

The Wilderness of Sin had no food and no meat;

Then given six days of Mannah [weekday leftovers stink],

With double portions on the sixth day; [Shabbat did now show

A day of rest, no gathering of wood or food you know!]

Tamarisk sap lice product sounds like the Mannah that fell

And there were occasional quail provided to eat as well...

At Meribah, Massah, Refidim, more water lack woes-

A smacked Horeb rock cracked to provide water flows;

Then just as they approached Arabia’s narrow pass,

Amalekites appeared, striking down weak and the old,

So Joshua’s unexpecting folk had to fight, alas:

In all ages we must oppose Amalek we’re told...


The use of ‘three days’ was not always meant to be specific but rather to indicate many days’ length of time. It also should be noted that the Nile River in Egypt, the major source of drinking water, was contaminated with several types of parasites. So the promise of no Egyptian illnesses was fulfilled by clean, parasite free water. The fulfilling of other promises is yet to come for the fleeing tribes have yet to learn what laws of HaShem they will need to uphold. Is keeping to the mitzvot a guarantee that we can hang onto freedom? If not, what else must we do? Amalekite tyrants and autocrats will be in every generation, challenging our freedoms and democracies. How best can we oppose them? Will we ever be safe from them – or must we always be on alert to fight? Are there now Amalekites we must fight?


Haftorah: Judges 4:4 - 5:31 Ashkenaz; 5:1-31 Sephard


Honored Devorah, prophetess; Lappidot’s wife;

Sought after Judge under her palm tree on a hill

Of Ephraim between Ramah and Beth-El;

Military leader; strategist to save lives;

Told Barak of Naphtali to gather some men

Ten K in all from Naphtali and Zevulun

To go on to Mount Tabor where he could snare then

Sisera’s troops and gear in Wadi Kishon

Where devious Devorah had plans to send them…


Barak said okay only if she too would show.

Then her spy told Sisera where Barak would go…

She went with him to slaughter the oncoming horde,

But Sisera fled to whom he thought was a friend…

Yael and Heber were Moshe’s kin, feared the Lord…


So Yael hid Sisera, gave him milk to sleep…

Then she drove a peg in his head and did not weep.

Barak, in pursuit, saw what good deed she had done.

He ended King Yavin’s reign. Forty years’ peace, won!


Devorah and Barak sang a song of great praise

For the reopening of travel and free trade,

With gratitude to HaShem and all those who helped:

Ephramites hailing from Amalek held city;

Machir and Zevulun officers; Binyamin;

Isachar for Devorah’s guard; and too some pity

For tribes who hesitated, on outskirts waited

As Sisera had bad weather, a Kishon flood

Which swept away many in the torrent of mud...

Meroz cursed as did not help. Yael was praised.


Sisera’s Mom dreamt of booty all her days,

Worried her son was late… No spoils! Just Peace slated!


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah wonder if we can get our Justice system to work without any effect from partisan politics...


Shabbat Yitro 5782; Justice; Shemot [Exodus] 18:1-20:23-;

Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6 Ashkenaz; 6:1-13 Sephard


Now journeying through desert sands is slow

When some people have kids and flocks in tow.

So Moshe sent his wife and sons ahead

To visit Grandfather Yitro’s instead.


So, too, to not be distracted from the refugee woes,

Moshe tried to do everything by himself, alone,

Which led to some intense burnout and severe overload.

Still Moshe did all needed tasks with not even a groan!


Near Arabia, Yitro came with Zipporah and sons,

At once evaluating what Moshe’s efforts had done.

This Midian Priest first made a meal to improve the mood

Of Moshe and all the tribe elders as his pitch ensued:


Moish can’t go on like this,” he said. “He’ll wear himself out.”

Delegate to several levels of judges and laws!”

Teach them how to do it themselves, what it is all about,

So that only the most major will come before his gaze,

Knowing that good, fairly done judgment did review each cause

And the People will decide for their own, have happier days.

Now the Judges you will choose must all be capable guys,

Fair minded, unbiased, rich so immune to bribes!”


Moshe’s People kept on their way while Yitro went on home.

Refidim to Mt. Sinai’s desert, from Egypt three moons.

Mt. Sinai’s South South East - ish of Midian in Arabia’s dunes,

A volcanic area with quakes, smoke, fire, and earth groans -


A place to rest with three days of purification tasks:

Do not touch the mountain nor your women; wash clothes;

Then listen to the words coming from behind the smoke cloud:

This is our covenant, ten terms to our Brit...


So said HaShem, “These covenant terms are ones you must meet”:

The only deity that you shall have must now be me!

No idols are allowed! By my name, no swearing falsely!

Keep the Sabbath day of rest with all livestock and folks -

Except wives are not on the list to not work for their blokes!

Honor your parents! No murder allowed! No adultery

With married women permitted! Stealing of spirits, souls,

Or the selves of others is forbidden! Dishonesty

In tales about neighbors also a very big no-no!

Yet was it only about neighbors or of any folk?

Just like don’t covet neighbors’ holdings – or others’ also?



The mountain of lightning, thick smoke, and thunder was so loud

The mountain trembled, horn blasts grew louder scaring the crowd.

Those very frightened People begged Moshe to intercede

So they themselves would not hear directly HaShem’s words.

Moshe did as they asked so HaSHem’s words only he heard:


Build now an earthen altar, for sacrifices to be blessed -

No idols thereon nor ever should be built anywhere…

So use then un-hewn stone for an altar without steps.

No lewd dancing, modesty in worship, joy should be there...”


Unlike other nations, no nudity nor idols would be part of sacrifices and worship. One wonders if the Solomonic era compiler added a nudity on steps ban after David danced twirling on the palace steps revealing his manhood to all [no underwear]… What part of our Brit covers nudity and modesty? Be safe!!!


HAFTORAH:


The death of King Uzziah heartened Isaiah’s feeling

G!d protected Jerusalem while others were reeling:

Sitting on a Holy throne with skirt flowing Temple built,

Six-winged Seraphim in attendance, the Temple smoke filled…


With Isaiah standing there, a Seraph took a hot coal

To touch his two lips for purification of his soul

So that he could tell the People that the Law they must heed

Though only a tenth would survive as future Holy seeds...


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah wonder how laws can be used fairly in courts:


Shabbat Mishpatim 5782; Laws, Laws, Laws; Shemot [Exodus] 21-24:18 ;

Yirmiyahu 34:8-22 ; 33:25-6


What do all the terms of our Brit Covenant Contract mean?

Details of laws and compensations heretofore unseen?

Intentional murder or manslaughter: How can one tell?

Strangers, widows, orphans, the oppressed stand equal as well

Ere they on guilt, restitution, compensation decide…


Witnesses must tell the truth, avoiding rumours and lies.

The Judges must decide without bias, frivolous suits, or bribes;

Don’t threaten leaders nor defame Hashem to disagree.

Accept then their fair justice so all the Folk can be free...

A manslaughter sanctuary needs to be set aside.


Is anyone property? While known all we must respect,

Which are ‘rights’ and behaviours of “owners” must we select

To evaluate and review, to condone or reject?

Universal slave practice was acceptable back then,

Although some coerced remains, unfortunately, today.

For those most civilized demand slavery ban, they say,

Yet all generations have slaves for some. Ban will be when?


The souls and spirits of all folk we are told to protect:

NO abuse of parents nor employees tolerated;

NO kidnapping regardless of class or status stated;

NO cursing Judges for being fair; No interest lending to the poor

Of Israelites...[but what of non-Jews who suffer for sure

And may also be in mortal danger: unfed, un-shoed?];


NO evil tongue speech, lashon haRah; No kid boiled in milk; NO blood in food;

Found property must be returned; help struggling animals in distress;

Road kill and carrion are for the dogs; Do all the mitzvot to be blessed;

NO bestiality; sorcery jobs must be suppressed;

NO idols; NO magic; NO sacrifice to a false ‘god’;

While self-defense is okay, a revenge murder is not.


Seduction, coercion, rape are theft of bride price and soul.

Forced marriage is the repayment if Dad and Daughter agree.

If not, the cost is the bride price as she can’t be made whole.


Such payment is said reasoned: valued eye for eye you see,

Medical treatment and time lost considered, too, in the cost…

Courts knew to calculate payment if a fetus was lost…

Or if the woman was injured as well, there was a cost,

So payment was made to compensate the man not his wife;

Or from other injuries such as from a brawl or a fight;

Or if a servant by vicious owned animal does die:

First offense to pay? Repeated: for owner murder to try?


Fire starters, thieves of all kinds, animal borrowers pay

Restitution for their crimes as per what the Judge does say.

So too for compensating loose livestock damaged then caught…

Also for damaged fields or vines from neighbor’s flocks or fire

Found to be started by a known person’s desire…

As well as it’s true for livestock or folk injured from high risk

Open pits or uncovered, unblocked structure pieces and bits…

It is hard to determine when restitution is sought

For damage from wild beasts, loose animals, or missing thieves…

There is no-one found to sue, no hidden wealth to retrieve!


Do not express or say the ‘names’ of other ‘deities’.

Pray each day! To all these laws the Folk again did agree...

Observe Shabbat each seven days, shmita each seven years,

Post-seven shmitot: Jubilee! Males, first born, all for Priests!

First fruits and eight day old first born honest tithes must be true.

The People must learn to be decent to all, goy or Jew!

Celebrate three pilgrimage festivals every year

With prayers and sacrifices, observances and feasts.

HaShem will soften nations up bit by bit, drive them out…


Now seventy elders, Moish, and three Priests on sapphire floor

Made of blue lapis lazuli [?] in the Presence, we say,

Of HaShem up the mountain discussed the Law, feast, and more…

A pillar for each tribe’s sacrifice while they wait about

Forty days while Moshe went up the mountain for the Law.

Now how far up did Joshua ascend? Where did he stay?

Aaron and Hur would be top judges while Moshe’s away...

We’ll learn more as we read later what else they did and saw!


Stay tuned… Shabbat Shalom!

Haftorah:


Jeremiah heard the slaves were to be freed

As King Zedekiah openly decreed

When Babylon threatened to invade his State.

Some people reneged after all had agreed.


HaShem was quite cross that they did violate

Their contract made passing through a dead calf’s halves.

So as punishment, Babylon would succeed.

Town inhabitants gone and one in ten folk

Plus all leaders taken, as per history…


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah wonder how we can adequately fund our religious institutions and social/ world needs:


Shabbat Terumah 5782; Institutional Funding; Shemot [Exodus] 25-27:19 ;

1 Kings 5:26-32; 6:1-13


The Tabernacle needed to be built to plan

From freewill gifts, whatever to give people can.

Priestly garb [ephod and breast pieces] to adorn

From the Holy of Holies to each altar’s horn…


The innermost sanctum contained the Ark of Law,

Acacia wood, pure gold overlaid in and out;

The edges covered with gold molding all about;

Ornamental with carrying poles covered in gold;

Built with gold cherubim either side of the top,

Their wide wings spread for shielding the cover we’re told.


Nearby was a table overlaid with pure gold,

With a trim of hand’s breadth covered in a gold mold

Along with four corner gold rings for stand to grasp.

This gold table was for accouterments to hold:


Show bread, spice holders, jars, ladles, bowls for the dough,

[The last three used in the preparation of bread]...

Jugs for drinks or with water for cleaning instead-

All of gold pure, best they could do [but not for bread!]


Seven lamps close by to light the Ark of the Law,

Each with six branches on a central four light stalk,

Three lights per branch – tongs and fire pans keep light going

When helped by hands for eternal time’s light showing.


At the inner room entrance an embroidered screen

Separated from the bronzed altar a space.

With bronzed carry poles, bronzed corner horns, bronzed means

Of basins for blood, scraper shovels for trash trace,

Flesh hooks turn offerings atop a bronze sieve grate

To drain the waste from each sacrificial estate.

All utensils were bronze from sockets to clasps...


Outermost structure’s, like others: acacia wood;

For a frame to hold twisted linen coverings

Embroidered with Cherubim: crimson, purple, and blue;

Held in bronze or silver sockets with golden loops

And rings and clasps, silver hooks and bands according

To plan with bronze pegs and four layers on the roof,

Overlapped eleven goats’ hair cloths inner tent,

Under tanned ram skin tent, dolphin skin waterproofed.

All the details of building given as they went.


Haftorah:

Kings Solomon and Hiram of Tyre were good friends.

Twas sealed with a treaty and time together spent.

Sol was impressed with Hiram’s Tyre temple sell,

So he charged Adoniram with blueprints in hand

The huge task of pulling it all together well:

From draftees [each, three months of the year] for the work

Getting materials with which to build like sand,

Stone, gold, bronze and more during his fourth year of reign,

Four hundred eighty years since Egypt’s plagues’ fear,

In Ziv, the second month of the year - and again

HaShem told him: IF you follow terms of our Brit,

ALL the rules and laws, then HaShem will never leave

Nor forsake Children of Israel, e’er will be near...


Shabbat Shalom! Be safe!

Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah wonder how our leaders can modestly and ethically promote honest ways to live our lives :


Shabbat Tetzaveh 5782; Appropriate Attire; Shemot [Exodus] 27:20-30:10;

Ezekiel 43:10 - 43:27


Sunset to dawn pure olive oil did light the Law

With lamps outside the curtain separating Ark

Law from the rest of the Tabernacle confines.

Aaron and sons did this task but must dress for all

With all linen attire adorned as needed, unlined:

Pouched breast cover, ephod, tunic, turban, and sash

With poncho beneath ephod, inscribed forehead plate,

Knee length shorts - or breeches if you prefer to say -

To cover sudden nude exposures. No oops flash!


A floor length tunic, woven and fringed, tied at sleeves

With embroidered sash and headdress complete the chic,

Though the forehead plate is only for the High Priest’s leave,

So, too, the breast pouch to the High Priest was unique.

Still, all the Priests were so colourfully adorned;

Vestments by dedicated, skilled labour were worn...


Two pieces were joined at ends for the ephod shoulders:

Engraved onyx shoulder buttons in gold holders,

Each with six Israelite tribes named in birth order

With wreaths of plaited gold chains all on embroidered

Fine twisted linen; yarns of gold, purple, scarlet, blue;

With a wide woven belt of the same colours too.


Two ply Urim/ Thummim pouch over High Priest’s heart

Within a bejewelled breast cover of four square parts:

Signet engraved for each tribe four rows of precious gems,

Per row three gold set gems; gold rings at shoulders and hems

Secured by blue threads – Breast pouch for Judgment calls’ sight

When Priest decides issues with Perfection and Light.


A sleeveless blue poncho under the ephod did rest,

The neck reinforced with a woven collar, no vest -

At hem, coloured balls alternated with golden bells.

These pomegranate shaped balls swung with the tinkling bells

As all his work the High Priest did without pause as well.


The turban had a front plate, signet-like inscribed:

HaShem’s Holy”; held with blue thread on forehead side;

To bear the Israelite sins and atone for them all

After Priests were consecrated to answer their call…


Priests were washed and dressed inside the Tabernacle tent

To be consecrated. This for seven days they went

With unleavened breads and sacrifices to share

Til they were ordained, saying: “HaShem’s dwelling there.”


Sacrifices made tents stink, a disrespect to the Law…

Built was a small, square ‘altar’ for incense burning, daily twice,

Next to the Holy of Holies’ veiled screen opening’s maw:

With gold moulding, gold rings for the golden carrying poles;

Save yearly re-consecrating blood, ‘twas used only with spice...

Sin offerings year’s atonement to be made for all souls!



Haftorah:


Ezekiel heard HaShem describe the Temple design

To be shared with Israelites repentant over sins.

The sizes for the altar hearth with four horns, trench, rim,

Plus a ramp were given to rebuild the Temple just fine…

To be followed by blood purification and purge;

Then seven days of sacrifices, another purge;

So the Temple could open for business and gain

HaShem’s consideration… but when the time came

The second Temple followed a different design...


Shabbat Shalom! Be safe!

Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how to pinpoint and avoid idolatry:


Shabbat Ki Tisa 5782; Eschewing False Deities; Shemot [Exodus] 30:11-34:35;

1 Kings 18:1-39 Ashkenaz; 20-39 Sephardi


A Mishkan Tabernacle we need to build,

But now, how can we pay the craftsmen so skilled?

A tax on each adult male for sins un-named

Claimed to ward off contagion, pandemic tamed!

For Priests’ hands and feet to wash at Mishkan’s door

Stood a bronzed washing bowl on the sandy floor…


An olive oil spice mix only for sacred use

To anoint the Mishkan and all therein, Priests too,

And an incense altar sprinkled with incense mix

Just for sacred use, none else. All this and more was fixed

By skilled Betzalel and Ohaliab, his aide,

Including Mishkan, all therein, sacred vestments made...


While Moshe was up The Mountain the Law to get,

The two stone tablets inscribed by HaShem, and yet

Lewd folk coerced Aaron an idol to make -

A gold covered calf idol! - and altar to take

For feasting and dancing, worship you bet!

Joshua part way up heard, told Moshe the fact…


Oops! Then HaShem wanted to destroy them all,

But Moshe stepped up, asking HaShem to recall

Promised Land to Avraham and the Brit Pact,

Hence stopping HaShem from such a violent act!


When to Moshe the extent of sins was found,

He hurled the Law tablets to break on the ground.

Three thousand idolaters Levites did slay;

Heavy metal water was forced drunk that day.

This water laden with gold calf ash caused then

A “plague” on all as punishment for sins when

Prayers to a gold idol were the mob’s goal…

A reminder to zealously guard each soul,

Modestly without finery and fine clothes!


Then HaShem’s Presence in a cloud at the Tent

[Which was House of Judgment, not for the Ark you see],

Cloud hovered when to give counsel Moshe went.

Yet Tablets were still needed in the Ark to be:


For forty days Moish carved Law, for all to see,

With no food nor drink and at HaShem’s back a peek;

HaShem promised to drive out locals from the Land

While not showing self to the Folk so they’d stay safe,

Led not by HaShem’s angel but by HaShem’s hand:

HaShem who promised righteous ten gens to be kind

But four gens punished for those who laws did not mind...


Upon Moish’s return, all idols were destroyed.

All idolaters then we had to avoid,

Not even marry into idolater line,

So we could be pure for the Pilgrimage Feasts,

For Firstborn to redeem, for Shabbat to keep.


Special rules for Pesach note no sacrifice leavened

Nor left all night – days of Matzah are seven;

First fruits are for HaShem at Shavuot time,

As are first born livestock promised to HaShem’s might;

Ingathering for Sukkot’s third feast at least…


To not be like the Pagan festival rites,

Never seethe a kid in its Mom’s milk [she’ll pine] -

But follow glowing Moshe to spirits’ heights,

Although veiled unless in talk with Folk day or night!


Haftorah, Sephardi:


Jezebel, who tried to kill HaShem’s Prophets, missed

Elijah who was out and about on his own…

Now three years of severe Samarian famine

Left no food stuffs or weeds able to grow.


So to get some rain, HaShem had Elijah go

To Ahab, Jezebel’s King, to set up to plead,

With sacrifices, to various deities…

Meanwhile Ahab and Obadiah sought drink for steeds.

[Obadiah was house servant supplying all needs.]


Elijah found Obadiah, gave him a nod

Approving how a hundred prophets he had saved!

Obadiah called him trouble. E. did not agree,

Saying that trouble was widespread idolatry! -

And told him: to Ahab, he should Elijah lead…


He did. So with all Folk gathered it was set up:

Two bulls to sacrifice without any fire

By, for idols, some eight hundred fifty ‘prophets’

And by Elijah who drenched his bull quarters’ bits…

Yet the ‘prophets’ failed while Elijah’s flamed higher…


Alkaline metal? Used in water explodes!

Hence HaShem’s the only ONE, so Elijah showed!


Shabbat Shalom! Be safe!


Feb, 26, 2022: Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how to care for community needs...


Shabbat Shekalim, Parashat VaYakhel 5782; Modern Tabernacles; Shemot [Exodus] 35:1-38:20;

 II Kings 11:17-12:17 Sephard; 12:1-17 Ashkenaz


Now the People assembled upon Moshe’s call.

Then they were told they needed to give their all

In donations of property, skills, and time

To build the Tabernacle to be very fine…


Freely they gave enough for the Mishkan and more

Until stopping - ‘Twas no room for excess to store!

Yet their skills were still needed, men and women both.

So the best of their talents came forth – none was loathe.


There was one, so dedicated, who oversaw all

Following the plan given in his recent past.

Based on his experience, Bezalel did call

On craft mistresses and masters to fill his Cast.


Then with them he addressed all the various needs;

With Ohaliab, organized that Cast to heed

Making altars for burnt incense or offerings;

Coloured linens, cherub designed as ark cover,

With the outer linen edges of wool loops, blue;

Seven golden lamps, of purest gold that they could;

An embroidered screen door; planks of acacia wood;

The show bread table and accouterments therefor;

Most Important the Ark and cherub cover! More:


Tanned skins of ram over the goat hair tent were laid

Covered by dolphin skin above. Mishkan parts made

Along with an embroidered screen enclosure gate;

Enclosure of bronze, silver, linen hangings, wood -

Mishkan and enclosure parts were then done, but wait:


If you truly want more details, go look and read

Descriptions in Parashat Terumah and score!


Half shekel head tax for all the men

Gave a complete census count and then

We carry it over to today

Where our shekels go to help us stay

With healthy shuls and helping the poor,

With gelt for HaAretz, and maybe more...


Haftorah Shekalim:


In the seventh year of Yehu came a small King,

Just seven years old, Yehoash, Zibiah’s son

Who followed HaShem as per Yehoiada, his Priest

And told his Priests to get funds for Temple repair.


Yet twenty three years later, no repairs were there!

Yehoash was cross, told the Priests to forego funds

[except for purifying and guilt offerings]

And use the monies, honest repairmen to pay.

Yehoiada took charge to make repairs that way…


So this shekalim reading reminds us today

To support our shuls, give charity away:

Half shekels for Israel, the poor, those led astray…

Shabbat Shalom! Be safe!


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how to pay for community needs...


Shabbat Pekudei 5782; Costs of Materialism and Charity; Shemot 38:21-40:38;

I Kings 7:40-50 Sephard; 7:51-8:21 Ashkenaz


Itamar oversaw Mishkan ledger records.

This ben Aaron tracked costs of Judah’s Bezalel

And Ohaliab of Dan who led the craft work;

As carver, designer, embroiderer excelled.


This Egyptian style ledger gave metals’ account:

Gold worked in Egyptian style, copper and bronze use;

For Priestly garments, materials and jewels

Recorded and described as Tetzaveh recounts.

It is said: collectors, honest, to show revealed,

Had no long sleeves nor pockets for monies to steal.


The Tent of Meeting needed to be done as should

With women attendants’ help, as much as they could,

Whose bronze mirrors made the washing bowl and wash stand

And who at the Tent with vestments could lend a hand…


Moshe blessed dedicated efforts and skilled tasks,

Instructed them on how to put it together.

The Tabernacle parts were cleaned and anointed.

Then Moshe saw that all tasks were performed to plan.

[Midrash] he blessed: G!d should rest on works of their hands!


Then Priests were washed, dressed, anointed as appointed.

Moshe could consult HaShem at entrance tether...

Breastplate justice and ephod worship as should be:

Together they displayed Israel unity.


Burnt incense and offerings, grain offered at last…

Shkina’s cloud filled Mishkan regardless of weather

Until Israelite journeys would need to resume.

When encamped were HaShem’s cloud by day, fire by night,

Two visible reminders that HaShem was nigh!


Sephardic Haftorah:


For Shlomo, King Hiram had copper maven work

By Hiram of Naphtali for blood sprinkling bowls,

Scrapers and lavers; two columns with crowning globes

Under two nets with pomegranates in two rows,

Each network of two hundred, one hundred per row;

Ten stands, ten lavers; one tank, twelve ‘oxen’ below;

Unweighed pails, scrapers, sprinkling bowls from earthen molds’

Bronze castings. Shlomo furnished all alloys of gold

For the incense altar, lamp stands, display bread table;

Five lamps to left, five to the right before gold shrine;

Petals, lamps, tongs, basins, snuffers, fire pans, ladles,

Blood receiving sprinkling bowls and hinged sockets able

To hold the Holy of Holies’ innermost doors

As well as for doors of the House’s Great Hall line.

All these items in gold as pure as they could score.


Shabbat Shalom! Be safe!


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah share our thoughts on how to expiate and celebrate:


Shabbat Zachor, Parashat VaYikra 5782; Today’s Sacrifices and Offerings;

VaYikra 1:1-5:26; I Samuel 15:1-34 [sephard and...] or [some ashkenaz]- 15:2-34


VaYikra, Leviticus, the handbook for the Priests to study

Tells how to expiate or celebrate when learned with a buddy…


Details are given on how sacrifices were to be well prepared:

No blood nor fat from organs nor any entrails were to be used;

Frankincensed fried, boiled or baked grain without leaven - part for Priests’ use;

For offerings of celebration, atonement, or gratitude.

Expiation was given for the sins and guilt of those who cared

But criminals gave no offerings unless compelled by the Court.

Maybe repayments were required although full forgiveness came up short…


How to prepare offerings specific to each reason was told

(Such as refusing to witness, contact with nidah* or death,

For well being, prayers for peace, words of thanks, betrayal of trust,

For blasphemous oaths, reparations after repayment as must.

While Priests were taught words to celebrate or expiate with each breath.


Considered about sins was whether to fault there was intent;

Or whether it be to defraud, rob, or illegally take;

Whether it was individual sin or a community bent

On unethical practices for their gross selfishness to slake…


It is said all leaders cannot avoid sinning and must atone.

Forgiveness, atonement, whether as a group or being alone -

Hasidim says Gates of Heaven are closed to those who do not heed...

Sages such as Rambam or Abravanel said we do not feed

HaShem* sacrifices. So not to confuse folk, they are no more.

Rather, with prayers and good deeds, HaShem we honor and adore!


How can we separate the historical from the practical for use today?

*Nidah- impurity such as from a woman’s menses

HaShem – the Holy One, literally: the [Holy] Name; Shmuel = Samuel

Shabbat Shalom! Be safe!


Haftorah:

Shmuel* cautioned Saul HaShem’s commands to follow

For revenge war to wipe out Amalek’s city:

To kill all people, camels, asses, without pity,

As well as oxen and sheep by sword or arrow…

Two hundred ten K troops in siege of that city

Allowed Kenites to flee unharmed, evacuate…

Yet not all were killed. King Agog was kept alive

As were the best of livestock and high valued things…


HaShem was cross, regretted Saul’s royal estate

Since he failed to follow orders. Shmuel said “wait”.

Shmuel sought, by Saul’s monument to self, Saul King

At Carmel, but he was not there. Then to Gilgal, down,’

To tell King Saul that he did not deserve the crown

Given mission failure. Saul tried to justify…


Obedience is worth more than burnt sacrifice,”

Said Shmuel. King Saul begged forgiveness, grovelled low,

Gave Agog to Shmuel who cut him down in twain…

Then Shmuel left the disgraced King for Ramah

While King Saul went on home to Gibeah in shame...


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how to expiate and celebrate this week of Purim:


Shabbat Tzav 5782; Rituals and Devotions;

VaYikra 6:1-8:36; Jeremiah 7:21-8:3, 9{22-23


Yitro told Moshe: ”Delegate”. That then was done

By giving the Priests all the spiritual tasks,

By anointing them with a seven day cleanse, won

With little suffering so that they then could bask

In the sweet adoration of the People’s trust

That all what Priests did would lift their spirits as must -

By the Priests in special vestments conducting all

As per commands from Moshe they all must recall...


Moshe consecrated accouterments and tools,

The tabernacle and altars as per the rules

Until Priests, washed, dressed, anointed, duties could do

Or later anointed Kings these duties could do too!


With more rules for Priests who are no more

To handle the People’s guilt and thanks;

To feed Moshe and Priests evermore

No organ fat, only breasts and shanks.


Tzav’s portion describing sacrifice rituals

Includes reference to a perpetual fire

Along with what can be used as Priests’ victuals

As well as offerings [burnt; of unleavened grain],

For elevation, gratitude, ordination,

Well being, purification, reparation;

No carrion ever to eat despite desire…

All ashes to be removed outside the camp’s plain…


Does altar fire all night in the heart of the camp

Mean such intense fire lit in our hearts will be stamped

There forever? So if blood on clothing is spilled,

We boil out impurities; cleanse our hearts as willed.


Now a person anointed, a Moshiach makes -

Hence a Messiah of regular human form…

Never a Moshiach was ever meant to take

On being a supernal redeemer reborn!


Haftorah:

Prophet Jeremiah claimed with him HaShem spoke

That upon leaving Egypt there was no command

To do sacrifices; just to observe the Laws,

Follow them was the need: Mitzvot to be done and

Call out Folk who don’t listen but do their own thing,

Being very stiff-necked and much less civilized…

Yet even when you tell them, listen they will not.

They will seal their own fates and lose their promised lots.


So shave and lament those who have not realized

They’ve angered HaShem with Baal worship embraced…

Hence with death and ruin HaShem will silence them all.

In wrath their bones will be scattered and banished wide.

Folk in their riches, strength, or wisdom should take no pride,

But devote themselves to HaShem who’ll recall

To prefer to act with kind equity worldwide

And delight in Justice with Kindness to be chased...


=============================================================

Bittersweet Purim Joy 5782


Amalek’s head has reared on up again...

We’d hoped its influence had now waned…

So though we baked Purim yummy treats,

Our view of this world is bittersweet.

Still the Megillah in full we read,

Share our foods with poor, community,

And friends. When Pesach knocks on our door,

All can attend Seder and yet more:

Eat Matzah, no leaven, mitzvot heed!

So Very Happy Purim to all,

May every Amalekite fall!

=============================================

adapted from 5779:

                     Purim reminds us Amalek must go.

Yet how do we catch them and where must they go?

Now Amalek is Putin tolling evil.

Who are tools under his spell? Who’s truly evil?

Still we go forward with faith and in hope.

We will stop Amalek; we can make him go!

=========================================================


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how to overcome impurities and imperfections:


Shabbat Parah, Parashat Shemini 5782; Making Impure Pure?;

VaYikra 9:1-11:47; Ezekiel 36:16-38, some Sephardim stop with 33 or 36


Impurities, impunities, sincerity, immunities

All pertain now to this week’s readings

Of sincere heeding or not heedings…


Moshe taught Aaron how offerings must be done.

The unblemished offerings, burnt ones or grain ones

Are to purify the People, sins wiped away.

In Tent’s heavy smoke, by Shechinah, guilt assuaged…


Aaron was to teach all processes to his sons,

But Nadav and Abihu, heady with power and drink,

Did not follow those ways when they entered the Holy rink.

A strange fire flash-over left their tunics untouched

Burning alcohol and anointing oils with such

Ferocity that Moshe decreed: no loose hair,

No torn clothes, no drinks, no oils, face the ark when there!


Then Aaron’s cousins pulled bodies outside camp grounds

By their unburnt tunics. Grief among the Folk found

Mourning outside where Aaron and sons stayed in Tent

Entrance with no death rites, letting the Folk lament…

Touching death makes all impure, need to wash away

That impurity… Then wait, see if all’s okay...


Sons Elazar and Ithamar ate burnt sin offerings

That Dad Aaron wrongly had done. Hence he was inferring

That the tragic fire was punishment for his not heeding.

Then more laws did follow on what foods we could be eating,

How to tell if a critter was kosher to eat:

Fins and scales; cloven hooves; no predators; - replete

With locusts and grasshoppers and crickets as added treats…

Later revoked as identities weren’t recalled complete.

No impure intake allowed, like carrion meat.

It is said: Hence impure words from mouth do retreat...


So stories this week have impure impunities to suss.

Sincerity did not prevent consequences. Discuss!


Haftorah:


As per Ezekiel: The Folk defiled the Land

With blood impurities. So they were sent away,

Dispersed, and punished. Nations saw HaShem disgraced -

So they perceived. G!d’s reputation to restore

Needed Land purified, People returned once more

With caring hearts, new spirits, compassionate stands

Dwelling there, living by mitzvot, rules and the Law

To bring fertility to the harvests, fruits, and Folk;

And kept in line by the shame of past sins recalled.

Thereby the Nations did know: HaShem is no joke!


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how now to achieve purification?


Shabbat HaChodesh, Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Parashat Tazria 5782 ; Purification in Blood; VaYikra 12:1-13:59; Yehezkel Ch. 45: 18 -25; 46:1-15 Sephardim; Ashkenazim and Dvorah 45: 16-25 ; 46: 1-18


If it looks off, call Cohanim Priests

For priestly triage with some quarantines.

It may be fungal, allergic, or yeasts

On skin, on clothes, or inside stones unseen…


If it looks wrong presume contagion risk

That must be quarantined until proven not.

For people: bathing and purifying mix

After shaving hair off, tainted clothes thrown out;

By the Tent of Meeting, blood and incense sprinkle

(Yuk! Gross!) to ‘purify’ every wrinkle…


If purification does not work well

And symptoms do not clear, the Priest will tell

The afflicted to live outside the camp

With torn clothes, shaved head, crying out “impure”,

Mouth cover [upper lip down], so secure...


Now discharges make both genders impure they said

Even if natural upon the sex bed.

By the Talmudic times though men were excused

From needing to bathe after every act.

Yet for natural women’s monthly discharge:

Quarantine then bathing was the needed track…


What of childbirth and the blood therefrom?

Quarantine Mother until the brit for boys

Or even longer when a girl babe was born

Who can’t carry on the name? Or brings less joy?

Or do Mom’s hormonal changes differ some?


Unnatural discharges made all impure.

Hence all involved seven days respite received

Followed by washing the bedding and people

Returning to life’s activities relieved,

Til the next discharge starts the cycle once more.


Wash tainted fabrics, then see: if improved

Post seven day wait, bad section removed

While rest okay. If not, burn the thing whole!

Completely burn if taint spreading too,

But if totally clean, re-wash and use!

Thus fabrics used were pure to save the soul…


Haftorah HaChodesh:


So Ezekiel said: Offerings given

To Israel’s ‘Leader’ at appointed times

With Nissan welcomed, first month of the year,

Sanctuary was purified just fine

Of unintentional violations

And ignorant impurities therein

To help prepare for Pesach’s mid-month’s feast

For the seven days of bread without yeast

But with offerings and feasting stations.

[Just like our kashered Pesach homes are blessed?]


So, too, for the seven feast days of Booths

Starting the seventh month on the fifteenth day…


Now when the “Prince” to offerings did go

For Rosh Chodesh and Holy Days of rest,

Only open was the gate facing east

From the inner Temple court [work days closed]…


At entrance of that gate other Folk prayed …

To enter, these Folk on fixed occasions,

As did all, went in by north or south gates

And then they left by the opposite way…

Yet ‘Leader’ used the east facing gate

For his personal offerings, we hear…


The ‘Leader’s gifts, to reduce corruption,

Were only just from his own possessions,

In effect for all until Release Year

Except as inheritance for his sons.

Dispossessing others just was not done!


Shabbat Shalom!


April 9, 2022


Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how now to achieve accountability?


Shabbat HaGadol, Parashat Metzora 5782 ; Accountability and Judgement; VaYikra 14:1-15:33; Malachi 3:4-24


This week we continue last week’s lurid account

Of purification of eruptions and taints:

Skin afflictions outside camp had weekly recount

By Priests as to whether must those outcasts remain

Or, to return, could do purifying eight days

With giving offerings; clothes and folk to bathe...

Then too impoverished could be given a break

With needing less to offer before they could stay…


For all types of discharge, detailed purifying rites

Are given in this Metzora Torah reading:

For semen, blood, or impure discharges that might

Touch bedding, clothes, folk; causing all to be needing

Bathing and washing. Plus to make pure all contact

With a tainted house: wash all - but pottery cracked!


For those structures with blight, rot, mildew, or mold:

Quarantine seven days, like people, we’re told.

After cleaning out the places of wrong hue,

If rot returns, structures are demolished too.

If not, the place must be splashed with mix

Of blood, incense, and so on to complete the fix.


Now if in a such closed structure folk slept or ate,

Impure are they and their clothes, must be washed, first rate!

Hence Mishkan’s prevented from becoming impure

As quarantined and unwashed do not near for sure!


Haftorah HaGadol


Since some say [e.g. Mishnah]: Redemption will show

On Pesach in the future, so they Malachi chose

For accountability, Shabbat HaGadol…

He said: cursed are those giving offerings impure

With a fraudulent heart. To account they must go

Upon the time of Redemption for sullying

HaShem’s reputation. They’ve ability though

To be arrogant, unpunished, and happy now...

On Judgment Day they'll be the wicked trampled low;

While the honest, reverent and righteous will earn

Pest-free, fertile, prosperous fields, vines and folk

Remembered for all generations as good, pure,

Vindicated, and blessed when Elijah re-shows!


Shabbat Shalom!


Shabbat Pesach Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how can we achieve freedom for all peoples?


Shabbat Pesach I 5782 ;

So many unanswered questions abound.

So few of answers are coming around.

How can we get the plague under control?

How can we return Ukraine to be whole?

How can Judges be impartial and fair?

Can violence be eschewed everywhere?


Still some survived the Torah plagues of yore,

Achieving freedoms they had not before.

We now recall that joy, yearly embraced,

And resolve to constantly fight for all,

To have freedoms and democracies call

Met with strong courage, all challenges faced...


So presently we wish all Peoples well,

Hoping they will hear the story we tell

Celebrating our Feast of Freedom's joy

And praying for Peace for each girl and boy!



Torah Day 1


Now the Torah picks for Pesach start with Moshe detailing

Procedures to be observed upon entering the Land.

Then the People did so, recalling Angel of Death's hand

In Death of Firstborn crown prince [and other Folk's lives failing]

Followed by Folk and all theirs out of Egypt being sent

By a grieving Pharaoh whose mind could wobble and be bent...


Hence the People left with unrisen bread and "borrowed" wealth

[Perhaps the neighbors gave them plunder to insure their health?]

Quickly they left, with speed, at the end of the Hyksos reign,

Some two hundred years plus in Egypt 'til this expulsion

When Pharaoh Kamose invaded with chariots and war -

[Given chauvinistic, patriarchal revulsion

Removed the evidence of the female Pharaohs as well...]

But that Torah Folk went from Ramses to Sukkot is the story we tell,

Which describes when the remaining Folk were expelled once more

After four hundred years plus of Egypt's harshening chores...


We close this reading with a Pesach reminder to eat,

Only with circumcised men, the Paschal offering meat

And that Torah is for all Folk and strangers equally!


Maftir for both days:

The Maftir leading to Haftorah of Pesach first days

Says the first and last days of Pesach are Holy rest days!


Haftorah Day 1


Joshua took over the task as leader of the Folk,

Needing to be exalted by HaSHem just as Moshe was too.

Hence a divine herald stopped him over by Jericho,

Said, so Josh told: "Remove sandals. On Holy ground bow low!"


Upon entering the Promised Land there were tasks to do:

All People came in following the Ark, a new world to greet;

For all males after the exodus born: circumcision

With Gilgal healing wiping away taints from Egypt's time -

Or perhaps instead it was from a clear Hyksos defeat

With expulsion of multitudes... historic revision?


Then it was the season to observe Passover, drink wine,

Eat unleavened bread made from the Promised Land's new wheat grain,

And at the same time, upon entry, no more manna came!


Chag Pesach Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!


Pesach Day 2 -Torah


The second day Torah pick recalls how it was deemed right

That the eight day old lamb offered was all eaten at night;

That the Folk agreed to observe the Laws such as not to

Profane the Holy Name and observe all Holy Days, too,

At the appointed times: Shabbat; Pesach; and Shavuot;

Days of Assembly, Remembrance, Atonement and Sukkot -


Pesach first and seventh day of no work, rest with Matzot

Of the new wheat harvest; from day two count fifty days

To arrive at Shavuot offerings, burnt and sheaf waves

For a Day of Assembly after barley grain gleanings;

For the poor and proselytes allow field corners' leavings.

Shofar blasts herald Day of Remembrance rest... work? no way!

Self-denial for Atonement, no work a full day!

Shabbat Shabbaton, Yom HaKippurim: observe or die!


Next comes Sukkot, no work first and Assembly eighth days,

With lulav and etrog, willow and myrtle - them we shake;

With Assembly offerings, vows, and free-will gift bequests;

In celebration of where's Israel after Egypt left:

In Sukkot dwelled well with sacrifices and good living kept...



Maftir for both days:

The Maftir leading to Haftorah of Pesach first days

Says the first and last days of Pesach are Holy rest days!



Pesach Day 2 - Haftorah


To teach the People, King Josiah read the Brit out loud

So that all could hear, learn to observe the rules...

Then as per High Priest Hilkiah, he told the Priestly crowd

To cleanse all idolatrous objects from the Temple too...

They were burnt outside Jerusalem, the Holy City...


Then he suppressed the idolatrous priests without pity

As well as male prostitutes, necromancers, and the like

Such as mediums and fetishes... their shrines destroyed...

All Pesach rituals and offerings were re-deployed.

He was King most close to HaShem, in the Brit took delight...


Chag Pesach Sameach!


Shabbat Pesach II Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how can we bring peace to the world?


Torah, day 7 Exodus 13:17-15:26 ; Numbers 28:19-25


Now each seventh year remission of debts for the poor

Expected to default yet still given loans before…

Further release of indentured servants if they want

So all released plus the poor can get a new start…

Compassion’s the lesson for generations to flaunt…


We’re told the first born are consecrated to the Priests.

Yet the imperfect firstlings can be eaten by all

BUT all the blood must be removed en toto, recall!

No repeat mention is made of the Pidyon HaBen…


Of importance it is said to celebrate all Feasts:

With Pascal sacrifice done at the appointed place,

Eaten up all at night while Folk go home the next day...

Pascal offering, seven unleavened days, and then

The Feast of Weeks and of Booths the whole household rejoices

At pilgrimage times with Feast special rites until when:

Sephard unblemished offered; Ashkenaz other choices…


Now free will contributions as afforded can be

Are given to support Levites and community

So that the whole household with fatherless could rejoice -

So, too, with widows, strangers, whole communities...


Also all these Folk at the Feast of Booths seek reward

After the Fall harvest was gathered, processed, and stored...

Hence it was incumbent on men, each his gift to bring

To attend all three Pilgrimage Festivals and sing!


The maftir details those Pesach offerings then used

Followed by the seventh matzah day with all work refused...


Haftorah, 7th day; 2 Shmuel 22:1 - 22:51


As reported by Samuel, here is a David's song:

To HaShem he composed the words in gratitude and praise

For being rescued from many kinds of calamities;

For being a lamp lighting up the darkness of his days;

For giving much courage to meet insurmountable woes;

For shielding from deep grief; allowing success against foes;

For vindicating the anointed one, graciously dealt

With his offspring's future... expressing all the praise he felt...


Torah, 8th day - Deut. 15:1-16:17 ; Numbers 28


What does one do when one suddenly becomes free

Without any experience as to what can be?

Quite unlike Moshe who was years Egyptian raised,

Also lived in Midian for many of days,

Remembered to take Yosef’s bones along the way,

Not sure how long in the wilderness they would stay...


What did those Hebrews do when they too became free?

They groaned and bemoaned o’er what for them could not be…

In shock at Sukkot, weary travelers’ waystop,

They could not guess what ahead still would be their lot.

Along that cool, spring wadi, so wet and so green,

Not realizing what travelling east would mean:


Chased by Pharaoh’s chariots and quite loyal troops,

Once more they fled with their flocks in very large groups

While following a fire by night and a smoke cloud by day

Nearing irrigation canals’ northernmost lake.


Now given that on the northern garrison road

Locals and sea refugees were coming to blows,

Since fearing the Folk might get discouraged and turn back, so

To the Sea of Reeds was where they needed to go,

Area known to Moshe from jobs with Pharaoh:

Camped then near the mouth of canals, Pi-HaHirot,

At the edge of wilderness by the Sea of Reeds,

Facing Baal-Zephon [the Northern Ballah Lake]

Between Migdol [garrison tower] and the sea...

With the fire and cloud behind them so Egyptians can't see...


To control water sluicing some work it would take

After a night of intense smog where none could see...

At dawn a time of relatively dry land would be

For all flocks and folk to walk over to the other side

Until Moshe’s arm went down, signal to let waters ride

And cover the pursuing army now trapped in the muck.

Chariots and horses and men could not flee. They were stuck.


While Moshe and Miriam and all the people were very glad,

HaShem was a bit cross as death of horses and men is so sad.

Still they sang their joyous songs in gratitude to HaShem.

Moshe rejoiced that the people were delivered

While the Pharaoh’s host was buffetted and slivered

As they drowned in the rock filled flooding waters’ rush.

Both Moshe and Miriam to HaShem thanks gave.

Other nations of that time felt much terror such

That they feared Hashem for how HaShem freed the slaves.


Next Folk continued their long journey to the east:

Several wilderness days trek came to the brink

Of Marah bitter waters, dunked honeywood made them sweet;

With HaShem's promise: no Egyptian diseases they'll meet...


The maftir details those Pesach offerings then used

Followed by the seventh matzah day with all work refused...


Haftorah, 8th day; Yeshayahu 10:32 - 10:34 ; 11:1 - 11:16 ; 12:1 - 12:6


After the Assyrians fell, a prediction was made

By Isaiah: at some future point will come up one day

A wise leader from Jesse to then lead all away

From violence and hatred unto Peace with all creatures,

Conquering all conquerors, stopping all bigots' features...

All this with HaShem giving protection, comfort, and care;

Bringing confidence, deliverance, triumph ev'rywhere...

In this triumph HaShem is exalted, lauded, and praised

By all living joyfully, contented throughout their days!


Chag Pesach Sameach!


Shabbat Acharei Mot Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how can we heal given so much continuing death and destruction in the world?


Shabbat Acharei Mot 5782 Heal; VaYikra 16:1-20:27; Ezekiel 22:1-16 or19 [Seph. v. Ashk.]


In Torah, the do’s and don’ts we often find

If only we bother to open our minds…

First was told how to stay well safe to the Priests

Focussed on the High Priest to the ark’s approach

With a week of cleansing, linen garments cleaned,

To atone for sins: first his, then all others.

To remind us of Aaron’s wrongly burnt feast

Of the sin offering? Or for all brothers?


On the tenth day of the seventh month, Tishrei,

For all Peoples is the Spirit’s New Year’s Day…

Incense burnt for gossip, slander, sins unseen;

Blood pure ark in incense cloud for sin goat’s roast

Atones for Priest’s sins. Sins of folk on second goat

Sent to the wilderness to disperse our sins…

Only Mishkan’s offering of two goats wins

As sacrifices elsewhere were banned we note.

When all tasks were done, Folk must bathe to be clean.


The Laws said clearly to us all: Blood don’t eat;

NO carrion; NO mutilated nor live!

If you touch the dead, impure ‘til eve, then bathe.

NO blood sports; NO practices of Canaanites

Nor of Egyptians; NO idolatrous ways;

Sacrifice only if proper way you meet;

Don’t violate Torah 'xcept for folk to save

From idolatry or killing with intent,

Adultery, incest… though your life be spent…


NO close relative sex (marriage included).

Such inbreeding leads to few and sickly kids

Who don’t mature to marry and make more yids…

Sex acts with animals also excluded...


NO child sacrifice, NO sodomy we’re told.

Don't defile the Land with acts our Laws abhor,

Acts done by heathens before in times of yore.

Follow these Laws for to HaShem’s path to pave,

Surrounded by good folk, other Laws embraced.


Haftorah


Ezekiel heard from HaSHem, or so he said,

Telling him Jerusalem's impure from blood shed;

From violations of ethical behaviour,

Idolatrous ways lacking Holy Days' flavor;

Terrified by violent gangs and crime bosses

With sexual and other conduct indecent...

So forgotten were ways of HaShem, huge losses

Earning cross punishment from HaShem, most recent

Being scattered Folk as ill-gotten wealth no more;

Land's dishonored, scorned as by other Nations seen...

Although People are dross scum, refined they can be;

To Jerusalem purified, returned, restored.


This past Shabbat Acharei Mot heralded today's Rosh Chodesh, the new month of Iyar. The associated Haftorah is a moving story of the deep love between Yonatan and David in which Yonatan risked his own life to save David from the insane jealousy of his father, Shaul, as I try to relate here:


1 Samuel 20:18-42


Saul seemed jealous of David and ever so more nuts

That his son, Yonatan, helped his friend David to flee

On Rosh Chodesh and for three days covering his butt

Until Yoni would come shooting three arrows he could see

With words of 'coast being clear' or 'imminent danger'.


On the second eve out, Saul asked where David could be.

Yoni said he allowed Dave to Beit Lechem a leave.

Saul blew up at Yoni, yelled: choosing David brought shame

To him and to Yoni's rebellious, perverse Mother!

Shaul threw a spear at his son, threatening to kill

Yoni and David who were much closer than brothers.

Yoni fled, humiliated, knew what to do still:


So he shot three arrows to warn David of danger.

Then when they were left alone there without any stranger,

They wept on each other, they kissed, and then made a pact

Of Peace for themselves and their kids to shun hateful acts

With caring, respect, love - honor for eternity!


[May 7]

Shabbat Kedoshim Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how can we find justice given so much continuing death and destruction in the world?


Shabbat Kedoshim 5782 Honesty; VaYikra 19:1-20:27; Amos 9:7-15;


Don’t be a scoundrel in Torah, a shrewd con

Who can’t be prosecuted on worldly shores;

Deference to elderly; revere Dad and Mom;

Have honest property claims and pay all wages

With accurate measures and accounting pages;

Be Holy! Keep Shabbat! Leave gleanings for poor

Whom we should help (so they won’t steal) even more.

If no left gleanings, are we by greed stealing?

If we then defraud with dishonest dealings,

Is it stealing as robbers of others’ rights?


Do not act on omens. Blood, never to eat!

But tree fruit, fifth year or later, are your treat!

Watch our tongues to not profane the Holy Name;

NO vengeance nor grudge; NO species mixes;

NO pimping; NO self-mutilation fixes;

No idols; Keep kids from idolatrous ways;

Eat only proper sacrifices all days;

NO shaving like Egyptians; NO séance acts;

Nor soothsaying, divination days or nights;

Don’t abuse others who are disabled – PAUSE,

And think it could be you, too, with just the same…

Or you could be blind, unaware of the laws…

Best reaching blind judgments with using just facts…


Do not adopt non-Torah ways of others in the Land.

For if you do misbehave, you’ll have naught on which to stand.

Punishments of old no longer are in use:

Death to oracles, mediums, raped betrothed

Sex partners if investigation says so;

Or for forbidden sex: shunned, barren, or shamed...

Such may now appear in subtle ways, obtuse.

Yet payment for sex with marriage promised slave

Was practiced, then of old but not now in use…

Proselytes all welcomed should be, if behaved.

To keep the Land, all these Laws we must follow,

Else our prayers to Hashem will be hollow.

To reap the promised blessings that ours could be,

We must love each other and justice seek…


Haftorah, Amos


All children of the world are the children of G!d

Who sees Israel and all other nations

As wayward offspring who must be punished hard

With sinful kingdoms destroyed. Then with patience

The righteous will be gathered in to Holy Town

To rebuild the Mishkan and reclaim the Land,

To bring forth good produce of all crops at hand,

Ever settled thereafter in the jewelled crown...


Shabbat Emor Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how can we find ethical leaders to guide us through the continuing death and destruction in the world?


Shabbat Emor 5782 Priests; VaYikra [Leviticus] 21:1-24:23; Ezekiel 44:15-31


Is each Levite and Cohain just like us all?

Or do they have some special duties and rights?

This Cohanim’s handbook part limits its call

To Priests striving to be in the Holy Light:

They don't self-mutilate nor wear goyim hair,

Nor marry a whore or brother's widow share...

If physically deformed can't do service there

Even if they are not visibly impaired.


Such was the disabled Priests’ leadership ban

Causing rejection of a disabled man…

It is a dilemma for us all today:

Defining who’s disabled we need to say…

Yet during war time drafts some young boys were maimed

So the Russian draft would not take them away.


For close relatives burial touch is got

When they pass, though for a married sister not

Unless a childless divorced or widowed lass…

Then Rabbinic law added rites for a wife,

But High Priest must not mourn nor touch death for life!

Not one pagan mourning rite can be done.

Yet a touch of death makes Priests not pure

Until end of day – then water cleansed and splashed…

Or if from eruption or discharge impure,

Eight days wait, recheck until wash need is won.


So virgin marriage was the restriction then,

(Cohain widows later added as okay.)

Else sons grown up to be Priests can not so be.

The High Priest was restricted even more when

Marriage just to virgin Kohenet decreed,

Else a grown son could never be a High Priest.

And... We don’t burn up Kohenet whores today!


Without a Temple, sacred foods matter not.

So, too, physical offerings are forgot.

Yet the times to celebrate remain with us:

A weekly Shabbat of rest, no work, no fuss;

Chag Pesach the fourteenth; Chag Matzot next day

(With start of Omer count) for seven days long

With the last day of rest as Omer counts on;

Until Shavuot is reached with gleaning left

So all could rejoice and none left food bereft;

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot in Fall

Welcomed by shofar blasts, self-denials all;

Followed by festive booth living for a week

Shaking etrog, lulav: willow, myrtle, palm;

Closed by an assembly day for all to speak

Of the joys and success in post-harvest calm.

Such are the set sacred times for Holy Days!


Mishkan Menorah lit evening to morn

Became the eternal lighting of our Law.

The twelve Shabbat loaves with frankincense adorned

Now are two for our table without any flaw.


None now know HaShem's name, so no blaspheme danger.

Blasphemer stoned dead is no longer in use.

Saadia said ‘eye for eye’ means pay for abuse.

Be it beast or man, restitution’s needed.

Yet too, for each murderer, death is meted.

Such is the Law be they citizen or stranger!


Haftorah, Ezakiel


To Solomon, Zadok HaKohain was loyal.

So when Yisrael went astray, it seemed to be

That Zadokites needed to care for the Royals

Plus fully restore and tend to the Temple See -

Thus this, as Ezekiel said, was Hashem's need...


Then in suitable linen garb they will be dressed,

Following the hair care rules; not drunk when at work;

Married just to virgins or widows of Priests blessed...

They will act as Judges to meet challenges' tests:

Of whether or not pure, laws broken, or just quirks...


Holy Days and Laws they will preserve and teach.

Holy work's their portion with offerings to eat

Of only specific kinds: purification;

Guilt; grain - and first fruits - no carrion or dead meat!


They must not touch the dead unless they are brother,

Unmarried sister, offspring, father or mother.

If so, seven days to purify for work,

Returned to Temple to help lead the Nation...


Lag B'Omer 5782


With many fire restrictions everywhere

The widespread chag campfires just are not there.

So Lag B'Omer must get a new face

With barbecues and songs we can embrace.


Shabbat B'Har Shalom! We at Beit Torah ask how can we ethically treat the world and our fellow folk so that all will have their basic needs met?


Shabbat B'Har 5782 Preserving the Earth and all its Denizens Ethically;

VaYikra [Leviticus] 25:1-27:34; Jeremiah 32:6-27


Seven years until Shmita leaving lands untilled

To reverse nutrient depletion, health losses refilled.

Yet maintaining for health: vines and trees could be hewed!

To prepare for Shmita, store three years worth of food

Collected to last until ninth year's harvest's through.

Help kinfolk survive Shmita if you're well to do...


Seven by seven years then led to Jubilee.

Let all be redeemed at the time of Jubilee

Or by given tasks to work off what's due...

T’was often never followed unfortunately.


All was to be re-balanced, out of poverty to be.

Poor and rich made equal, clear at least in theory,

For a fresh, clean start, energized and not weary.

Foreclosures to be reversed, so too servitude…

For all is HaShem’s, hence no folk owning, just lease.

Servants are just temps until Jubilee release.

'Though only the servants serving HaShem are true...


Yet some renegged on contracts saying what would be:

Refusing to return servants, lands, properties.

Despite equal Jubilee food uncertainties

Somehow the rich stayed rich, the poor poor were not pleased,

And the Priests had their hands filled with Spiritual disease!


Care for all to keep Shabbat sans idolatry...

Threats, promised rewards in the next parsha will be!



Haftorah, Jeremiah


When foreign Chaldeans ruled over the Promised Land,

Jeremiah said Hashem told him to redeem

His cousin, Hanamel, in the prison yard's stand

By buying up in Binyamin Anathoth land.

With witnesses in the compound's yard it seemed

The time with Baruch, his aide, to finish the deed

And place the documents to be safe in a jar sealed.


Then Jeremiah thanked HaShem for kindness revealed

In success of this transaction and children's weal

For many generations - and the gift of Land -

While guilty faced punishment of folk and offspring,

Plus are blamed for the later failed country's downswing...