Skip links

Main navigation

Posts by Yael Warach

Parashat V’zot Hab’racha (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12)

“And this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before he died.” (Deuteronomy 33:1) V’zot Habracha is the last parasha, or portion in the Torah and is read only on Simchat Torah, never for Shabbat. It includes Moses’ final blessing to each of the Israelite tribes and ends with … Continued

Parashat Ha-azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52)

“The Rock! His deeds are perfect/Yea, all His ways are just/ A faithful God, never false/True and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4) Parashat Ha-azinu is the next-to-last parasha, or portion, in the Torah and is the last one read on a regular Shabbat morning. That is because v’Zot Habracha, the last parasha, is read only … Continued

Parashat Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30)

“Be strong and resolute, be not in fear of in dread of them; for the Lord your God marches with you: he will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Parashat Vayelech is all about transition: Moses announces to the Israelites he will not accompany them into Canaan; Joshua will lead them instead. But … Continued

Parashat Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20)

“Concealed acts are for the Lord our God; but revealed acts are for us and our children, forever, to carry out all the words of this Torah.” (Deuteronomy 29:28) Greta Thunberg is extraordinary. Few adults, let alone teenagers, have both the moral clarity and emotional strength to stand in front of the world and speak … Continued

Parashat Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy) 26:1-29:8

“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you hearken to the voice of the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 28:2) The furious global debate about nationalism, immigration, and refugees is really an argument about the answer to a simple question: who gets to be “in the club?” Parashat Ki Tavo provides a … Continued

Parashat Ki Teitzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19) (for 5779)

“Do not despise the Edomite, for he is your brother; do not despise the Egyptian, for you were a stranger in his land.” (Deuteronomy 23:9) String theory posits the idea all of nature, at the smallest sub-atomic level, is made of vibrating strings. Parashat Ki Teitzei offers a different theory of string. Tzitzit, or fringes, … Continued

Parashat Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9)

“You shall do according to what is announced to you from that place the Lord shall choose, observing scrupulously all they will instruct you.” (Deuteronomy 17:10) Parashat Shoftim opens by describing the ethical standards required of judges in an ideal justice system. Embedded within that framework is the secret to Jewish survival: the Jewish interpretive … Continued

Parashat R’eih (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:12)

“You shall not act at all as we now act here, every man as he pleases.” (Deuteronomy 12:8) Classic rabbinic thought presumes every letter, word, and verse of the Torah is equally sacred. Still, some verses seem to carry more punch than others. Parashat R’eih opens with one such verse: “R’eih, see, this day I … Continued

Parashat Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

“Further, the Lord spoke to me, saying, I have seen this people and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.” (Deuteronomy 9:13) August 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the slave trade in the US, the 100th anniversary of the US Congress’ failed debate to ratify the Treaty of Versailles (and the League … Continued

Parashat Va-etchanan (Deut. 3:23-7:11)

“For what great nation is there that has a god so close at hand as is the Lord our God whenever we call upon Him?” (Deuteronomy 4:7) In Parashat Va-etchanan, Moses continues to prepare the Israelites to enter the land of Canaan by recapitulating the Torah’s commandments. He tells them, “Be sure to keep the … Continued