Weekly Drash

Post List

Parashat Eikev

This portion is called Eikev after the first few words in it, meaning ‘because of’ or consequently or as a consequence of. In its entirety, it deals with the themes of what will happen if Israel chooses to obey and of course in parallel, what will happen if not. But above all, this passage deals with the consequences of blessing! What really stopped me in my tracks were the following…

Read More

Parashat Devarim: Our G-d is alive!

The final book of Torah, the Chumash begins, and it seems it’s all about repeating the Torah again, or is it? Devarim represents the closest we have to a developed Jewish biblical theology. Moshe retells the Torah in a ‘systematic’ or even ‘progressive’ way, showing how links and connections are made, and major themes drawn out. How does Torah all fit together? Two major themes come out of this first…

Read More

The ‘Real’ Promise Keepers

Most of this portion is given over to the narration of the Israelites in the process of the last stages of wilderness living; the Land is in sight and plans are being laid to take it. The time for maturity was now upon us, a time to consider what we’d learnt and how to apply it as we entered a new stage of our national development. One of the key…

Read More

‘Impulse’ – Parashat Pinchas

How many of you remember the advert for the deodorant ‘Impulse’? It showed a young lady doing her ablutions and then spraying on this deodorant and then going out. As she passes a young man, he gets a whiff of this and then runs off, finds a flower shop, buys some flowers and runs back to find her to give her the flowers, which she takes whilst blushing. And the…

Read More

Parashat Balak

G-d is on my side… whose side? Balak King of the Moabites is honoured with this portion named after him, so again there is a key truth to learn from him as a role model. He looked at Israel and realised the writing was on the wall, destruction was assured due to our might and power, so he tried to get a little extra help against us. On comes Balaam…

Read More

Parashat Chukat

Are we nearly there yet? How many parents get tired of hearing that one?! The 40 years ‎of wandering are soon to be over, the camp of Israel is close to ‎the borders of the Promised Land, they are almost there and so ‎what happens? Throw a party to celebrate this achievement? ‎No,they grumble and complain, murmur against G-d and attack ‎Moshe and Aharon! ‎ In Numbers (B’midbar) 20:4-5 we…

Read More

Parashat Korach

Humility! “Is it a small thing to you that the G-d of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the L-RD, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; “and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking…

Read More

Parashat Sh’lach L’kha

Parashat Shelach (Send) – the sending out of the 12 spies to spy out the land and plan for its capture and settlement. The resultant report upon their return led the people of Israel into a 40 year diversion, one year for every day of faithlessness. However, God’s plans are never thwarted or diverted; in this case, Israel was settled but by a different generation. The passage begins with ‘sh’lach…

Read More

Parashat Beha’alotcha

Moving on and holding back Welcome back to the season in Torah that highlights our complaining in the desert!  ‘Give me meat!’  I know what’s good for me and it’s not this!  With these words the events of the next few Shabbat portions unfold with an almost inevitable consequential development. We find Israel a year into the journey, having spent 1 year at Sinai and now setting off, but already…

Read More

Parashat Nasso

Blessings In the film Fiddler on the Roof, the old Rabbi is asked a question…. Lebisch: Rabbi! May I ask you a question? Rabbi: Certainly, Lebisch! Lebisch: Is there a proper blessing… for the Tsar? Rabbi: A blessing for the Tsar? Of course! May G-d bless and keep the Tsar… far away from us! In this week’s Parasha we see what is known as the Birchat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) יברכך…

Read More