Weekly Drash

Post List

Our Father the Rock

Parashat Ha’Azinu In Devarim 32 we read Moshe’s song of deliverance. This lyrical, sung format is meant to be learnt and sung to each new generation, a wonderful song of redemption amidst rebellion, a song of hope and prophecy, of gloom and the ultimate hope of salvation. It’s a song of possibilities, riven with the anguish of a prophet who loved G-d and His people, yet knowing the end from…

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Asking the right questions

The major theme in this portion focuses on returning to G-d; the Hebrew word shuv comes very often into these passages, returning to the Land, to G-d and to Torah obedience. This passage reflects so much the final thoughts on the whole Chumash journey, it takes a good hard look at the whole scenario and proposes a way ahead. It begins in the Garden, and as the 5 books of…

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Parashat Ki Tavo (When you enter)

Parashat Ki Tavo כִּי תַבוֹ opens with the offerings of  Habikkurim (first fruits), that have been brought to the Tabernacle to acknowledge G-d’s goodness in the  provision of the produce, and to affirm that He is its true owner. HaShem is also thanked for the gift of the land, Eretz Yis’rael.  The Birkhat ha-Mazon (blessing after meals) we say today is similar in nature, thanking G-d for both the food…

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Ki Tetze

Our portion this week, Ki Tetze, connects with one of the major topics of the modern world: health and safety. Surprisingly the need to introduce health and safety laws on buildings isn’t new. Despite what we may feel about it, health and safety legislation is from Heaven and in the Torah. We are told to build a fence around a rooftop that might otherwise be a health hazard to other…

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Living in the Kingdom

This portion is all about the principles of government in Israel, ‎how to rule yourselves. In Devarim 16 we are told to appoint ‎judges and officers in our gates/towns. The portion also includes ‎the crucial section on ‘a better prophet’ and how/when/if a king is ‎to be appointed. It teaches us about justice and righteousness, ‎the need for witnesses who are unbiased and truly neutral, how ‎evidence needs to be…

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Mountains of Blessing

This portion begins with ‘Behold’, or possibly, ‘See this, look at this’. G-d had put before the Israelites the blessings and the curses, a choice, decisions to be made. In Hebrew the concept of ‘seeing’ is tied to understanding, as it is in English too, I see it (understand it). What was the concept the people were to see or understand? Quite a simple one really, if you follow G-d…

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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…

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Parashat Va’etchanan

“You shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”  Luke 10: 27. At the beginning of the sidra today, Moshe reminds ‘Am Yis’rael’ that he pleaded with G-d to allow him to cross the Yarden into the promised land. He then goes on to give a series of commands (mitzvot)…

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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…

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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…

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