Pekudei by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

(Please note: this week’s drash covers the haftorah for Parshat Pekudei — I Kings 7:51-8:21.) Haftorat Pekuday: The Report of Hiram, King of Tyre by Rabbi David Hartley Mark I, Hiram, was king of Tyre, back around—oh, 1,000 BCE in your reckoning. King Solomon of Israel was my liege lord—your Scriptures may state he was […]

Vayakhel by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Vayakhel: Putting God into a Box by Rabbi David Hartley Mark (Scene: An open, bare field in the middle of the Israelite Camp, blocked off from the rest of the camp by an elaborate fence, consisting of wooden pillars fitted into brass sockets, ringed and crowned with silver hooks. These hold white linen sheet-curtains, designed […]

Ki Tisa by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Kee Teesa: Egyptian Army Interrogation of an Israelite Refugee by Rabbi David Hartley Mark Lt. Djer, Duty Officer of the 18th Regiment, Royal Egyptian Cavalry (“Jaws of Anubis,” Chariot borne), leaned back on his cloth-and-wood army field chair and yawned. He got up, scratching his shaven, bald head, and peered out the tent-flap: almost midnight, […]

Tetzaveh by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Tetzaveh: The Sons of Aaron by Rabbi David Hartley Mark Scene: The Mishkan, God’s sacred Dwelling-Place in the Wilderness; specifically,the Brass Altar, whereon various sacrifices are burned. The sun is setting. The Altar apparatus, used to placate, thank, or bless the LORD GOD, is tended by the Sons of Aaron: Nadav, Avihu, Elazar, and Itamar. […]

Terumah by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Terumah: Enthroned Upon the Cherubim by Rabbi David Hartley Mark “[In the building of the Holy Ark of the Covenant,] you shall fashion two cherubim of beaten gold, and mount them at either end of the golden lid of the Ark. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other. Use […]

Mishpatim by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Mishpatim: The Tale of the Indentured Servant by Rabbi David Hartley Mark Now these are the Mishpatim, Ordinances, which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve you for six years only. In the seventh year, he shall go free. If he came in a bachelor, a bachelor he […]

Yitro by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

The Israelites at Sinai: Three Possible Scenarios by Rabbi David Hartley Mark Scene: The Theophany at Mt. Sinai. Thunder and Lightning. The people fear, and stand afar off, able to “hear” the lightning and “see” the thunder. A gigantic Black Cloud settles over the mountain, and all hear the sound of a Shofar blowing—only, unlike […]

Beshalach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Beshalach: The Egyptian Version by Rabbi David Hartley Mark Despite a strong defence and adverse weather All arms combined magnificently together.  –Robert Graves, “The Persian Version of the Battle of Marathon, Greece” Scene: The Egyptian Bank of the Sea of Reeds, up near the Nile Delta. Off, we hear cries of triumph by Israelites, singing, […]

Bo by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Bo: Ramesses II Faces The Final Plagues Scene: The Royal Throne Room in the Palace of Pharaoh Ramesses II, Light of Ra, Counsellor to Osiris, Consort to Bastet, the Cat-Goddess, and Lord of the Two Lands (i.e., Upper and Lower Egypt).  The normally neat and well-appointed room is a mess: puddles of a red, blood-like […]

Vaera by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Vaera: God, Moses, and Aaron Confer by Rabbi David Hartley Mark Scene: The thorny Burning Bush, smoking and crackling. Moses, holding a runaway lamb, strains hard to listen to the Celestial Voice of God, while simultaneously keeping the sheep and goats away from the flames. (There are no camels—not yet domesticated at this time.) Moses: […]