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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Parashat Vayeilech

Be Strong Moshe’s whole life’s work and calling was about to conclude. His concern to the bitter end was for the future of his people and God’s faithfulness to them and to us. Both he and Joshua are called to go before the Lord in Deuteronomy 31, where they hear some unpleasant things: V.16: “go astray or play the harlot”. The Hebrew is strong here and refers to sexual immorality…

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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

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…

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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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