Terumah by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Terumah: Sacrifice vs. Prayer by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Scene: The Building of the Mishkan, the Holy Place where Aaron and his sons will conduct sacrificial offerings, in the sight of God and all Israel. Betzalel, the consummate architect, builder, craftsman, sculptor, and painter (among many other talents) is shouting orders at his men: […]

Mishpatim by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Mishpatim: The Paving-Blocks of Heaven by Rabbi David Mark   “Then Moses and Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, and the seventy elders of Israel ascended; they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet there appeared the likeness of a pavement of sapphire, like the very sky for purity. Yet He did not raise His hand […]

Yitro by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Yitro: The Passion of Zipporah Zipporah bat Yitro v’Athaliah speaks from the depths of her black-walled tent in the desert outside of her hometown of Midian: And are you gone away from me, my Moses, my Egyptian Prince, my stuttering lordling, father of my sons, Gershom (lit., “Stranger”) and Eliezer (lit., “God is my help”)? […]

Beshallach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Parshat Beshallach: The Egyptian Version   Top Secret: Eyes Only, Joint Egyptian Chiefs of Staff Egyptian Weekly Army Report, Northern Sector Glorious Egyptian Empire Peacetime: Battles to Report—0 Minimal Military Losses, Thank Ra-in-His-Glory 8th Year of Reign of His Majesty, Sun-in-His-Splendor-Rising, Pharaoh Ramesses II Item: Supply-Sergeant Khufu requisitioned six bows-and-quivers for use by Platoon 6, […]

Bo by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

  Bo The First Passover by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   “Your lamb shall be without blemish….You shall watch over it until the fourteenth day of [the month of Nisan], and all the Congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take of the blood and smear it on the doorposts of their […]

Vayigash by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

  A smooth, gleaming-white Egyptian moon had risen over the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids. Joseph, Vice-Pharaoh, Agriculture Minister, and Royal Officer Plenipotentiary, sat in the office of his home: it was cool and dim in the shadow of the Great Pyramid

Miketz by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Midnight in Heliopolis, Egypt, during the reign of Seti I (1291-1278 BCE). The throne room of the Pharaoh, dark now, in the middle of the night. We see the Cup-Bearer, lately freed from prison, sprawled on the King’s royal throne, normally a capital offense, but His Majesty is safely in bed. The Cup-Bearer, Semnet, speaks:

Vayayshev by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Scene: Sheol, the Afterlife. A small metal table, such as one would find in an old-fashioned café in Paris, perhaps, or Greenwich Village. Two uncomfortable-looking but necessary metal chairs with curved metal backs, suitable for two ladies of fashion to sit and chat.

Vayishlach: Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, in the Afterlife by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Scene: The Afterlife, known as Sheol. Spirits flit about aimlessly: this is no Talmudic or Kabbalistic Heaven; that came later in Jewish History. We cannot see any of these spirits, but we can hear them.

Vayetzei: The Testimony of Laban, Jacob’s Father-in-Law by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

  Come in, come in, Stranger! Welcome to my humble tent. I am Laban, sheikh of this little tribe—look around my home tent! As you can see, I have daughters, a fine son-in-law, and grandchildren enough! Sit here, by the fire; it will stop your shivering—yes, our Aramean desert nights can get cold enough, I’ll tell you! Ha-ha! Here, Leah, my dear—fetch our guest a big bowl of that red-bean stew—that will warm your bones, I reckon!