Behaalotecha by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Synopsis of Parsha: The Children of Israel grow tired of the manna, the heavenly bread which God sends daily, and implore Moses and God to send them meat. Once again, they invoke the memory of the fruits and vegetables which they ate a-plenty in Egypt—strange, because this is the Wilderness Generation, the Exodus Generation having died out, for the most part, following the Sin of the Golden Calf. Nevertheless, tribal memories persist, and stories exaggerate the truth. The people work themselves into an emotional state of grief and weeping, so great is their lust for meat.

Yitro by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Come in, Stranger! Take a cup of barley beer from me, and sit here by the fire…

Shemot by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Let me tell You the whole story, God of my fathers—though I am certain that You know it all, for You have read my mind about this, and You see all that happens on this earth, from Your abode in the skies, and You laugh at us: You hold us in derision, as my father, Amram, used to tell me, before the Pharaoh’s police came, to arrest him for working for our freedom, and he had to run away, and was never seen again….

Nitzavim By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

  Nitzavim (פרשת נצבים) Torah: Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20 Haftarah: Isaiah 61:10 – 63:9 You stand this day, all of you, before the LORD your GOD—every man and woman of Israel…from the woodcutters to the water-drawers—to enter into the Covenant with the LORD your GOD…. And not with you alone do I enact this Covenant, […]

Re’eh By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Re’eh (ראה) Torah: Deut 11:26 – 16:17 Maftir: Numbers 28:9-15 Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1 – 66:24 Special Maftir & Haftarah because Re’eh falls on Rosh Chodesh In Which I Imagine a Rewrite of the Blessing and Curse of This Parsha   THE LORD GOD SPEAKS: As Humans, the only earthly creatures whom I, the Lord your God, have […]

Devarim: A Torah Teaching through Time By David Hartley Mark

Devarim (דברים) Torah: Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22 Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1 – 1:27   Moses: Reader of Torah! You invoke my name every Shabbat, but no one can ever know me, truly. Was I a Desert Shepherd, Egyptian prince, God-sent Savior from Slavery, Commander-in-Chief of an Israelite Army, the First and Wisest Rabbi, or Chief of the […]

Behaalotecha: Miriam and Zipporah by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Beha’alotcha (בהעלתך) Torah: Numbers 8:1 – 12:16 Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14 – 4:7  The hot, angry, unforgiving sun burned over the Israelite camp. Zipporah bat Yitro, wife of Moses, dark-brown of eye and skin, drew her cotton headscarf more closely over her long, black curls, here and there streaked with tinges of grey. Leaving her tent—though it was […]

Kee Teesa By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Parsha Kee Teesa Torah: Exodus 30:11 – 34:35 Haftarah: I Kings 18:1 – 18:39   This Parsha, Torah Portion, contains one of the most dramatic episodes in the entire Torah: Moses struggles to the top of Mount Sinai, leaving Aaron to supervise the People of Israel. When the Master-Prophet fails to return after a short […]