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Shabbat Tetzaveh [commentary at bottom]

Shavuah Tov!  

 

Due to health difficulties All in person activities are cancelled until further notice except phone consultations and discussions possible as needed/ desired [928-227-0582]. Newsletter will continue.  If we have pleasant Shabbat weather, we can do an early outdoors Shabbat Morning service/torah study.  A zoom Kabbalat Shabbat will be every Fri. at 4 pm.  call to arrange or get link.

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We at Beit Torah will discuss combatting mob rule and Amalek as well as contrasting individual and community leadership especially responding to natural disasters:

Shemot 5784; Saved from water; 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.

Pharaoh heard, wanted to kill Moshe if him he could find...

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

Named Gershom, for stranger Moish was there to stay…

 

While Moish was in Midian, the King of Egypt died.

The Folk became more oppressed. With groans to G!d they cried!

 

This story took off here when HaShem now did appear

In a burning bush that neither ashed nor disappeared!

Moish heard Hashem call: [He replied: "I am here".]

"Remove your shoes on Holy ground, do not fear

For I am HaShem who promised your forbears

Land of milk and honey; at my mountain: prayers."

 

"I've heard Israelites pleading for help you see,"

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 give visions: almond tree branch, pot of steam;

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.

In fortified town, land protected from strife

The House of Jacob stood tall, no longer shamed

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

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We at Beit Torah will discuss difficulties in preventing tyrants from gaining power:

VaEra 5784; Saving the Oppressed; 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?

Of slave times from 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,

Both past and present men and sons Egyptian born

[Note Miriam’s not mentioned as of Yocheved's spawn].

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;

[Pharaoh's magicians something similar could do...

Was it the same? Not likely as they had no clue!]

"Blood" poisoned water so that fish died, rotted, and smelled,

Let uneaten tadpoles escape to land as well

As frogs seeking food in all of Pharaoh's home places,

But not in Goshen were there of them any traces!

Pharaoh said, "go sacrifice" if first frogs get gone,

But when dead frogs piled up, he sang a different song...

 

Now toxic volcanic ash, like lice on skin cooking,

Will kill food sources, so hungry insects come looking...

Again promised to go pray should insects get gone

From Thera's umbra ['though Goshen's penumbra had none].

Again Pharaoh renegged with the insects away

Only to have all critters in fields fall dead next day.

 

"Now grab handsful of soot," G!d told Moshe and Aaron.

Aaron's soot thrown in the air [? Or Thera's vast display?]

Did sicken the air so that all felt so ill until

The skin bubbled open as blisters or boils in pain.

 

Up high, deep rumbling Heavens cried out loudly and then

With Egypt's land struck by fiery hail as again,

More death until the inferno from brimstone was done:

Barley and flax both destroyed out in the open fields

Left later ripened wheats for the locusts yet to come...

Hail's seventh plague given Pharaoh was stubborn still…

All this since Pharaoh continued to refuse to yield...

 

Historical documentations by the Ipuwer papyri [circa 1500's BCE] support the occurrence of the biblical plagues and coincided with the first of the expulsion 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 some 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 -

Repaying Babylon for the abuse it showed...

 

Said about ten years post-Babylonian exile…

Then Israel gathered in to a secure land while

Despisers were punished; HaShem reclaimed the Nile...

Shabbat Shalom!

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The focus of Beit Torah this week asks how and if we can return this plagued world to world peace so all can escape to safe, free living:

Bo 5784; Final Plagues; 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 marshlands were blown,

Pharaoh continued refusing to yield,

Offering just to let men go alone!

“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”

Since Moish was esteemed [Yisraelites cheered]

They willingly gave - or was it their fear?

Post-firstborn deaths, Folk fled on the morrow.

From Ramses by Wadi to Sukkot huts

So they could regroup and rest weary butts.

 

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, lamb roast on which to feed,

Not raw! With (toxic?) water do not make!

Eaten while fully dressed, ready to flee!

[Only given to those men circumcised],

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:

Seven days of Matzah's our bread we'll eat;

First and last days Holy, no work allowed;

Matzah's for all local folk and strangers...

With no leavening in all of the house,

With Exodus story told to kids and spouse:

That lintel blood avoided firstborn death,

Such lamb's blood with a hyssop branch was spread;

To recall HaShem us from Egypt freed;

Forehead and hand reminder signs we need!

 

[Ate leaven those seven days? Danger!

Shunned you'll be before folk of the crowd!]

Then, only circumcised will have roast to eat

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

 

Since that restriction on lamb roast eating, some traditions no longer use lamb so that all can eat whether or not circumcised.

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

With its loudmouth Pharaoh of hubris fame in rule;

Once more laid barren wasteland, by Babylon’s hand

Of Nebuchadrezzar's King of Destructions' School…

 

So Jeremiah joined Ezekiel to call

To shame Egypt's god, Ammon Re, as though a fool;

For Israel to lay low while fights surround their Land

So that the dispersed Folk will return in full praise

After fully atoning for their wayward ways...

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Shabbat Shalom! Beit Torah wonders how to overcome Amalekites in today's world:

Shabbat Shira, BeShallach 5784; Oppose Amalek; Shemot [Exodus] 13:17-17:16;

Judges 4:4 - 5:31 Ashkenaz; 5:1-31 Sephard - International Holocaust Day

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 would be still 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

On to Eitam at the Wilderness edge they're sent

Following a fire pillar by night, cloud by day

Until northward turned their path, the cloud to their rear went...

Then they neared irrigation canals’ northernmost lake.

 

The Folk feared that the Egyptians would have them die

When they heard that the army was not far behind.

 

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

With all night strong east wind making a dry land way,

Moish's arm held high through that night and lightened day...

So at dawn relatively dry land there 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.

 

Then with great relief the Song of the Sea was sung

Recounting the events about how freedom was won.

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 with gratitude to HaShem in joyous voice;

Fearing HaShem gave Folk faith in both G!d and Moish.

Their Song at the Sea recounts their story so long

Which will be longer still with more events to come.

 

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 that if faithful and loyal,

Folks' bodies and spirits would have healings royal...

 

Elim Oasis was water with no parasites to drink;

The Wilderness of Sin had no food and no meat.

There between Elim west and Sinai to the east,

The People grumbled more from hunger they felt - so

They're 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!]

Why did the Shabbat portion not spoil overnight?

'Cause it was baked or boiled in the day before's light!

 

Tamarisk sap lice product sounds like the Mannah that fell

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

Yet those quail needed to be all cooked we are told!

Eaten raw led to the feared desert death unplanned!

 

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-

They succeeded to win as held high were Moish's hands.

The battle's recalled in a written record scroll

So no one will forget ignored Amalek's toll!

An Altar of HaShem was built then to give thanks...

Hence ever we must oppose all Amalek's ranks...

 

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...

D'vorah and Barak were to Kedesh go to meet

Gathering troops - such was the plan all should agree..

She told Barak of Naphtali: 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

For forty years yet to come. Victory's song won!

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Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah wonder if we can get people to really hear the Decalogue and delegate as needed for Tikun Olam...

Shabbat Yitro 5784; Decalogue and Delegation; 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 homestead.

 

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.

[Zipporah, their first son Gershon meaning a stranger there,

And Eliezer meaning G!d's my help everywhere...]

At once Yitro recognized what HaShem for Moish had done,

Also too, what Moshe's leadership and efforts had won.

 

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 -

There Moish spoke with HaShem who promised: If my Laws you obey,

Then ever you'll be my treasured folk in every way!

 

There's a place to rest with three days purification tasks,

With Aaron and Moshe on the mountain before the crowd:

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

So said Moshe, these are G!d' words: 'Hear the horn blast so loud;

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 an earthen altar, for sacrifices to be blessed -

No idols thereon nor ever should be built anywhere…

Only use then un-hewn stone for an altar without steps,

So no unplanned privates revealed as no underwear dressed!

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

As thrice called to each other: 'Holy is the Lord of Hosts!'

While Isaiah protested: ''My lips are impure at most!"

 

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 -

For that tenth will repent, regrow anew as per G!d's needs...

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Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Shalom! We at Beit Torah wonder how do Courts of Law and Courts of Justice differ... and which do we have?

Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Adar I, Parashat Mishpatim 5784; Laws, Courts, Justice? Shemot [Exodus] 21-24:18 ; Isaiah 66: 1-25

 

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

While seeking to punish all wrongdoers for their crimes

Yet punishment of the innocent, they must not decide!

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...

Despite compassion being taught, with servants having rights

Such that slave families should stay whole, maimed slaves released

Though some coerced slaves remain, unfortunately, today.

Now those most civilized demand slavery ban, they say,

Still 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

[Yet dead offspring parents do not want... They just want respect!];

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, 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 just 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’...

 

(Such a sacrificer shunned must be,

Both their person and their property...

Cherem does not mean death, just "proscribed"!

Hence they're protected and kept alive!)

 

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

Don't oppress strangers, orphans, widows; do not them mistreat!

For the poor, no interest loans; take not their basic needs!

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!

 

Daytime thieves are seen in the light; deadly thieves may come at night...

Fire starters, thieves of all kinds, animal borrowers pay

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

Those borrowers, caretakers for maiming, theft, death are sought.

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…

It’s true as well for livestock or folk injured from open pits'

High risk 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

With fallow lands, vineyards, olive groves from which needy glean;

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 harvests gathered Pesach, Sukkot, Shavuot it's clear;

With prayers and sacrifices, observances and feasts.

No blood's in leavened offerings;

Festal ones o'ernight are not seen.

 

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

A guy sent ahead tells locals from forced troubles to flee,

No deals! Thus without idols, corruption stopped would be!

To gain health and be fruitful, you must hold all our Laws near.

All these words of HaShem to the People, Moshe relayed.

 

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

Being blood sprinkled, by mountain foot's altar, in doubt...

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

He stood seven days near G!d's cloud before invited in

To get the Tablets of Laws from HaShem, our Covenant!

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

As we wonder when these agricultural laws begin...

Stay tuned…

 

Haftorah

G!d who is everywhere asked us to provide an abode...

We who are faithful, devoted, leaving behind despair

Despite hatred from kinfolk whom G!d sees in evil mode,

Whose evil is rejected by HaShem when seen everywhere!

 

As in a c-section bearing offspring in just one day,

So, too, Zion was born as a nation in every way.

So be consoled and joyful all who Jerusalem love.

The loss is in the past. Now we've been returned from above.

 

Prosperity for Jerusalem promised by G!d's word

Should console the faithful, rage against foes until they're lost.

False piety seen by HaShem will be unmasked and then heard,

Disowned by the nation, made powerless, but at what cost?

 

All nations will come to embrace HaShem's glory, we've heard,

So that only the devoted will be in a new World

Reminded to be faithful by horrors seen that befell

Those who opposed HaShem [anti-semites?], those who did rebel -

With faithful in sync with natural rhythms of the World.

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Shabbat Shalom! We at Beit Torah wonder where our Tabernacle is today:

 

Shabbat Terumah 5784; The Tabernacle within Us;

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,

So that through the Folk HaShem’s presence could be there,

G!d’s Laws embraced in hearts and souls everywhere.

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.

(Solomon’s Temple, twice the size of the Mishkan,

Also had seven branched lamps for light all around.

They were practical, not Holy in daily use,

Unlike the nine branched Chanukiah’s symbol for Jews.)

 

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.

 

Now the Rambam noted that these are blueprint plans -

Not the same chapter forty says made by our hands.

Plus non-native were dolphin skins and acacia wood...

Wood, some say, Avraham planted along his way

To Egypt, anticipating needs for this day

Of Mishkan planning and building just as they should.

 

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, four 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, second month of fourth year reign- 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...

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We at Beit Torah wonder how best we can define modesty and appropriate attire:

Shabbat Tetzaveh 5784; Proper Attire; Shemot [Exodus] 27:20-30:10; Ezekiel 43:10-27

 

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,

Tended to twice daily with incense burnings' spark...

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,

With unleavened oily cakes and wafers in oil,

Sprinkled with sacrifice blood and oil for their toil,

Followed by washing well the Priests to be ordained

So consecration and holiness can be gained...

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

 

Sacrifices made tents stink, a disrespect to the Law

From the sacrifices' blood and burnt organ fat.

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

After altars' horns yearly purge of blood splat matt...

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...

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