Weekly Drash

Post List

Parashat Lech Lecha (Go Out)

An old Rabbinic tradition tells of the Jewish community of Horodna. One winter’s night there was a heavy snowfall. The next morning the men of Horodna got up before dawn, put on their fur coats and hats and boots, and set out in the deep snow for the Shul. Whilst on their way, they heard what sounded like someone singing. In the dim pre-dawn light, they were surprised to see…

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Shabbat Noach: Knowing how to rest

It is said: Nomen est omen, you are your name. Here we have the first portion in the Torah named after a person, Noach, and his name comes from the Hebrew verb ‘lanuach’ which means to rest. His father chose the name because he felt that through him (Noach) rest would come, or comfort, as some translators have it, from the toil of the land. In some way Noach, as…

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Parashat Bereshit

The point of it all Here we are once more, our scroll rolled back to the start and the well-worn path of the history we seem to know so well starts up again. These early verses are so enigmatic; it’s almost as if we’re called to dig deep to understand the broad sweep of the truths contained therein. All of our history is contained in these few verses – and…

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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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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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