Torah Tidbits and Haftarah Highlights
By Rabbi Steven Silberman
(All page numbers refer to Etz Hayim)
Aug. 4 – Parshat Ekev - pp. 1042 - 1048
Moses, while reviewing his stint on Mt. Sinai, mentions he made the Ark. Is this accurate? Check out p. 599. Why do you think Moses makes this statement?
Haftarat Ekev - pp. 1056 – 1060
The goal of this Haftarah is to comfort the Israelites after the Temple's destruction. Isaiah opens with a question: "Could a woman forget her baby? Could God forget Israel?" Do you find this message comforting?
Aug. 11 - Parshat R'ay - pp. 1068 – 1076
Moses calls out to Israel and reminds the people that each individual is a child of God. How do you express your awareness that you are a child of God? Moses teaches the Israelites to eat proper (Kosher) Israelite food, to uplift the poor through tzedakah, and to care for their bodies.
Special Haftarah for Rosh Chodesh - pp. 1220 - 1223
God asks, "The earth is my footstool ...could you actually build me a house?" What is Isaiah trying to say? This is the concluding chapter of the Book of Isaiah, and the last verses speak of Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh. What would actually be of greater honor to God than a structure?
Aug. 18 - Parshat Shofetim - pp 1094 – 1099
A special law is set up for a person who accidentally kills someone. Would it be just to execute a person who commits manslaughter? Examine the Torah's approach (p. 1098).
Haftarat Shofetim - pp. 1108 – 1111
Isaiah continues to offer comforting messages to the People of Israel. His theme begins with God's words directed to all of Israel and the message ends with a description of a specific behavior. What do you notice about this behavior?
Aug. 25 - Parshat Ki Teitzei - pp. 1123 – 1130
Why are Israelites allowed to charge interest of non-Israelites and forbidden from charging interest of their countrymen? How often have we Jews experienced allegations of greed and avarice? Study verses 20 and 21 on pp.1125 - 1126.
Haftarat Ki Teitzei - pp. 1138 – 1139
This Haftarah's tone is joyous and confident. God is so confident that all will be well that a metaphor is used: It's so obvious it's like the waters during the flood of Noach. This Haftarah is also read on one other Shabbat in the year. Can you guess which one?