Naso by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Naso: The Wife Suspected of Adultery by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   My name is Tahara bat Sheekorev’Tama, and I am eighteen years old. My husband—that is, the one who accuses me—is Choshesh ben Batuachoo’Mookah. He is a blacksmith, but he has little enough to do during our wilderness sojourn. Where and how can he […]

Bamidbar by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Bamidbar: Will There Ever Be Peace? by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Scene: The Wilderness, with Israel on the move. The Israelites are marching in tribal order, with the Levites in their dynasties bearing the component parts of the Mishkan, the Desert Sanctuary. In the vanguard of the People Israel marches Joshua ben Nun, Moses’s […]

Behar-Bechukotai by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Behar-Bechukotai: Faith and Doubt by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Scene: A campfire in the midst of the Israelite encampment. It is late; most, or all, of the people have gone to bed, conditioned to follow the rhythms of the days and the months and the seasons—they have no other way of telling time. It […]

Emor by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Emor: The Blasphemer Speaks by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   “A certain man came out among the Israelites, one whose mother was Israelite and whose father was Egyptian. And the man fought with another man in the camp, who was pure Israelite. The half-breed cursed, using the Name of GOD blasphemously. They brought him before […]

Acharay-Kedoshim by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Acharay-Kedoshim: The Scapegoat’s Testimony by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Call me Azazel, the Scapegoat. When my Brother Goat and I were chosen and brought forth as sacrifices—he to serve as a burnt-offering, and I—well, I will tell you of my fate—I thought little of it. We goats are not deep thinkers, and sufferance is […]

Tazria-Metzora by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Tazria-Metzora By Rabbi David Hartley Mark   I am Kevudah, the “honored one,” wife of Eleazar, Aaron’s third son—but his eldest, now that Nadav and Avihu are dead, killed by the hand of God—the flames of God, I mean. They offered “strange fire”—some mistake in preparing the incense, we believe, as well as guilty of […]

Shemini by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Shemini by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   I am Tsilya, daughter of Yitzhar, wife of Aaron, the High Priest, mother of my Lost Boys, Nadav and Avihu. You will not read my name in the Great Scroll of the Torah-Teaching; no; my name has been lost in darkness, for I spent my days mourning for […]

Chayay Sarah: The Life of Keturah, Abraham’s Concubine by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

“Abraham took another wife [after Sarah’s death], whose name was Keturah. She bore him [six sons]. Abraham willed all that he owned to Isaac; but to [his] sons by concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and he sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the Land of the East.” Gen. 25:1-6 (adapted)

Noah By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

I was walking in a sunny vale, chasing after yellow-golden butterflies. My feet felt as light as when I was a little boy: the breeze ruffled my hair (I, poor doddering graybeard that I am, have little or no hair),, I heard birds singing sweetly. And there, not too far-off, was a little mountain stream—perhaps I could take off my broken sandals, and bathe my poor, aching feet in it. Ah, what bliss! I …

Of Mice and Sukkot by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

(Scene: A temple courtyard. Sara, a fifth-grade Hebrew School teacher, is working with her students to decorate their congregation’s Sukkah. She directs them to string popcorn on nylon thread, cut paper chains from construction paper, and use this year’s Rosh Hashanah cards to tape in the sukkah. A bag of fall apples sprawls in a corner, and the children alternate between munching and hanging the fruits from the sukkah’s roof.)