May 5 - Parshat Emor - pp. 722 - 727
Five pages of Torah reading describe in great detail
rituals of offerings, both of animals and grains. Food
is made holy by dedicating it to God and to Kohanim.
What does the last paragraph on p. 727 (verse 22)
teach? Is there a connection between the first 5 pages
and the last verse?
Haftarat Emor - pp. 735 - 737
Ezekiel witnesses the destruction of the Temple by
Babylon. His intense hope is that the Judeans will be
free in the future and able to reestablish Temple
ritual. Restored ritual indicates political liberty and
social autonomy. The Kohanim will direct specific
details of worship. Which other duties will Kohanim
have (verse 24)? What does that convey about how
ancient Judeans viewed their religious leaders?
May 12 - Parshat Behar-Bechukotai - pp. 744 - 752
This reading bears 3 different tones. Pp. 744 - 745:
One function of the calendar is to ensure that
Israelites who are down on their luck and sell their
services to pay off debts are not abused by fellow
Israelites. Passover is a time to not take advantage of
fellow Israelites. Pp. 747 - 748: This section
describes grand divine blessings of Israelites who are
loyal to God. Pp. 749 – 752: Why does the last
section detail so many punishments and misfortunes?
Why can’t the description of punishment be as brief
as the blessings?
Haftarat Behar-Bechukotai - pp. 763 - 765
Rewards and punishments are described in the
parshah. This may be the link to the description of
guilt and sin of Israel. Note the last sentence of the
haftarah. Does it have anything to do with guilt and
May 19 - Parshat Bamidbar - pp. 774 - 778
The opening section details a census of the 12 tribes
encamped in a pattern. Page 778 talks about the tribe
of Levi. Why are there differences between the 12
tribes and the Levi tribe?
Haftarat Bamidbar - pp. 787 - 790
Hosea uses marital imagery to paint a picture of
Israel and its link with God. What is the tone of pp.
787 - 788 vis-a-vis the woman (Israel)? What is the
tone of the last 3 verses on p. 790? What is Hosea
trying to teach?
May 26 - Parshat Naso - pp. 796 – 805
You will see some of the most famous blessings in all
of Judaism on p. 804. What is the original context of
these words? How might you use these words? How
have these words changed over the course of
millennia? Or have they remained unchanged?
Haftarat Naso - pp. 813 - 815
In this Haftarah Samson is introduced to us because
he is a Nazir (dedicated in a special way) and the
Torah reading of the week also contains laws of
Nazir. What is the chief element of being Nazir?
Does this make sense to you? Does this fit with
ordinary Jewish life? (Hint - Think of Shabbat.)