Torah Reflections

Each week, Rabbi Olivier prepares a written reflection on the weekly Torah portion. These provide yet another way to discover the texts sacred to Judaism and to prepare for Shabbat each week.

Not On Bread Alone: Eikev

Not on Bread Alone: Eikev Eikev: Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 A few verses into the weekly Parashah bring us to one of the most famous saying in Torah, tucked in the middle of one extraordinary verse: God let you live in want and hunger, and then He fed you manna, which...

Because Love is Our Natural State: Va-etchanan

Because Love is Our Natural State: Va-etchanan Va-etchanan: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11   This week we find in our parashah the words that are at the center of our daily worship: the Sh’ma, and the first verses of the V’ahavta. While the Sh’ma is calling us to...

Why God Sentenced Moses & Aaron to Death: Chukkat

Why God Sentenced Moses & Aaron to Death: Chukkat Chukkat: Numbers 19:1-22:1   YHVH spoke to Moses, saying: “Take the staff and assemble the community, you and your brother Aaron. Speak to the rock before their eyes, that it give water…” Moses and Aaron...

When Korach Takes Over: Korach

When Korach Takes Over: Korach Korach: Numbers 16:1-18:32   We left the Israelites at the edge of the Promised Land last week. Twelve tribal leaders, who had gone to scope out the Land, had come back. Ten against two, they advised against entering into the Land,...

God, The Eye of All Things: Behaalot’cha

They Warned Moses & They Were Right: Sh'lach L'cha Sh'lach L'cha: Numbers 13:1-15:41   This week’s Torah portion begins with the famous episode of the spies. Much has been said and written about this episode as it is a turning point in the unfolding drama of...

The True Purpose of Blessing: Nasso

God, The Eye of All Things: Behaalot'cha Behaalot'cha: Numbers 8:1-12:16   Like many times before, the Hebrews are, once again, rebelling against Moses and complaining about their current condition. This time, the wilderness’ food monotony is what causes their...

We Lose Our Self to Find Our Self: B’midbar

The True Purpose of Blessing: Nasso Nasso: Numbers 4:21-7:89 In our Torah reading this week we happen upon one of the central blessings of our tradition; the Priestly Blessing. And the Eternal spoke to Moses, saying; Speak to Aaron and to his sons saying; Thus you...

The Jewish Path of Mindfulness: B’chukotai

We Lose Our Self to Find Our Self B'midbar: Number 1:1-4:20 The midrash relating to the opening of this week's Torah portion, "B'midbar," meaning: "In the wilderness;" asks its reader: "Why was the Torah given in the wilderness?" Why not, our rabbis wondered, give the...

Knowing God vs Playing God: Emor

The Jewish Path of Mindfulness B'chukotai: Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34 If your path is imbued with My instructions and your actions remain connected to and flow from your inner Divine source (Mitzvot,) then I will gift your rains in their time and the land will yield its...

The Pursuit of Holiness: Kedoshim

Knowing God vs Playing God Emor: Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23 The beginning verses in this week’s Torah portion are rather challenging to our current understanding of spirituality. They define an impossibly strict code of holiness for the priestly caste. In reading these...

Passover Reflections: April 19-28, 2019

The Pursuit of Holiness Kedoshim: Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27 The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the entire Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the Eternal your God, am holy. [Lev. 19:1-2] Most rabbinic and scholarly commentaries...

Subscribe to our mailing list in order to stay up to date on all the wonderful things we have going on. We promise not to spam you, sell your information or otherwise offend your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing!