Tazriah by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Parshat Tazriah: A Penalty for Unclean Men by Rabbi David Hartley Mark “The LORD spoke to Moses…’Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a woman bears a child, she shall be tamei/unclean for seven days; she shall be as unclean as at her Time of the Month.” –Lev. 12:1-2             Rather, had the Lord spoke […]

Shabbat Parah Adumah by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Shabbat Parah Adumah—Sabbath of the Red Heifer Parshat Shemini March 30, 2019—23 Adar II, 5779 by Rabbi David Hartley Mark             I am the Red Heifer. Without my sacrifice, there can be no Pesach, no Seder, no Prayer for Dew (Tal); not even those matzo balls in chicken soup of which Jews (and gentiles) are […]

The Battle of the Sea of Reeds by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

The Sinai Desert was still pitchy-black when Lt. Djer’s adjutant, Corporal Tem, shook his commander’s shoulder to awaken him. The lieutenant immediately arose—his training at the Royal Egyptian Army Military Academy (Heliopolis) stood him in good stead. He sat on the edge of his cot, blinking and collecting his thoughts. “The Lieutenant sleeps with one […]

Shabbat Zachor by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Shabbat Zachor: Amalekites, Egyptians, and a Promise by Rabbi David Hartley Mark The Sinai Desert was still pitchy-black when Lt. Djer’s adjutant, Corporal Tem, shook his commander’s shoulder to awaken him. The lieutenant immediately arose—his training at the Royal Egyptian Army Military Academy (Heliopolis) stood him in good stead. He sat on the edge of […]

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 […]