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Posts by Yael Warach

Parashat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)

“The Kohen shall immerse himself and immerse himself in water, and afterwards he may enter the camp; and the Kohen shall remain contaminated until evening.” (Numbers 19:7) Parashat Chukat fast-forwards the Israelites 38 years to the ending of their desert journey. When the Israelites complain there is no water, God commands Moses to speak to … Continued

Parashat Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32)

“And Moses said: From this you shall know the Lord sent me to do all these deeds; they are not from my heart.” (Numbers 16:28) Parashat Korach might be the most significant leadership case study in the Torah, but you have to read all the way to the end to understand the beginning. Korach, a … Continued

Parashat Sh’lach L’cha (Numbers 13:1-15:41)

“And God said, “I have forgiven, because of your words.” (Numbers 14:20) The foundation of the Jewish interpretive tradition is the belief the words of the Torah are spoken by God. This endows them both with sanctity and with infinite meanings to discern (since God is infinite). Thus, every letter, word, and verse of the … Continued

Parashat B’ha-alot’cha (Numbers 8:1-12:16)

“And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.” (Numbers 11:9) Enter “Leadership” into your computer’s search engine and you could spend the rest of your life clicking on each of the links that pop up. It’s much easier (and likely more helpful) to pay attention to three … Continued

Parashat Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89)

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take a census of the Gershonites, also, by their ancestral house and by their clans.” (Numbers 4:21) Parashat Naso (Hebrew for “lift up”) is the longest portion in the Torah. It closes with the chieftains of the twelve tribes bringing their personal gifts to the newly completed and consecrated … Continued

Parashat B’midbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20)

“I hereby take the Levites from among the Israelites in place of all their first-born, the first of the womb among the Israelites: the Levites shall be Mine.” (Numbers 3:12) Parashat B’midbar (in the desert) is called chomesh hapikudim (the book of those numbered) in the Talmud and simply “Numbers” in English (both the portion … Continued

Parashat B’chukotai (Leviticus 26:3-27:34)

“I will look with favor upon you, and make you fertile and multiply you; and I will maintain My covenant with you.” (Leviticus: 26:9) Parashat B’chukotai opens with the classic Biblical morality of reward and punishment: God will bless the Israelites for following the commandments and will curse them for not following. The admonition comes … Continued