June 20, 2021
Text - Balak, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Teaching on the Torah Portion
The Israelites are journeying towards the Jordan River and pass through the territory of King Balak of Moab. Balak is terrified and hires the prophet Balaam to lay a curse upon the Israelites. Three times Balaam climbs up to a promontory from which he can survey the Israelite encampment. Each time, instead of a curse, only words of blessing issue from his lips.
June 13, 2021
Text - Hukat, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Teaching on the Torah Portion
Thirty-nine years have passed since Moses, Miriam and Aaron led the Children of Israel out of bondage. Thirty-nine years since Moses raised his staff and split the sea, and since Miriam led all the women in dancing on the far shore. Now, Miriam dies.
June 6, 2021
Text - Korakh, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Teaching on the Torah Portion
Korakh assembles 250 Israelite leaders and publicly confronts Moses and Aaron: “Why do you merit to be the leaders?” Korakh’s argument sounds reasonable — did not YHVH speak to all of the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai?
May 30, 2021
Text - Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Teaching on the Torah Portion, Shelakh
The Children of Israel are preparing to enter the Promised Land. Moses sends 12 scouts, one from each tribe, to explore this land they had heard flowed with milk and honey. Forty days later, the scouts return. They bring back evidence of the land’s fruitfulness — an enormous cluster of grapes. But then 10 of the scouts offer a damning report: The inhabitants are enormous Titans.
May 28, 2021
Video - Beha’alotekha, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Podcast
May 23, 2021
Text - Beha’alotekha, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Teaching on the Torah Portion
After more than a year encamped at Mount Sinai, the time has come for the Children of Israel to march to the Promised Land. Transformed from a throng of refugee slaves, they are now organized into tribes and troops, bound by laws, a newly covenanted community. Their task is to follow the protecting Cloud of the Divine Presence. The Cloud lifts, the Children of Israel break camp, and they follow the cloud on a three-day journey.
May 21, 2021
Video - Naso, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Podcast
May 16, 2021
Text - Naso, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Teaching on the Torah Portion
The instructions are clear: Aaron and his sons are to be conduits so that Divine energy, and goodness can flow into the Children of Israel.
May 14, 2021
Video - Bemidbar, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Podcast
May 9, 2021
Text - Bamidbar, Numbers, Rabbi Jonathan's Teaching on the Torah Portion
Last week’s portion, Behar, laid out the need for the earth to receive a sabbatical year every seventh year and our responsibility to let the land rest. Bekhukotai, the final chapters of the book of Leviticus, now describes the consequences of these directives.