Shoftim by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Shoftim By Rabbi David Hartley Mark   “When you enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you…let no one be found among you who is a sorcerer, a soothsayer, a diviner, a magician, one who casts spells, or one who consults ghosts….”   –Deut. 18:9-11   Who’s that? The constable? Oh, it’s you, […]

Re’eh by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Re’eh: Two Young Sentries at War By Rabbi David Hartley Mark   “When you cross the Jordan River and settle in the Land into which the LORD your God is bequeathing to you, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, you [will] settle there in security.” –Deut. 12:10 (adapted)   Scene: […]

Vaetchanan by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Vaetchanan: The End of Moses’s Prophecy by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   The PROPHET Moses speaks:   Cry what shall I cry? All flesh is grass; still, I envisage The Citizen-Soldiers of Shim’on, Judges of Dan, Mariners of Zevulun, and Knights of Judah, David’s-Kingdom-to-Be;   O Israel! When you go storming over the Jordan To […]

Mattot-Massay by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Mattot-Massay: The Midianite War by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   “The LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, ‘Avenge the Israelite people on the Midianites; then you shall be gathered to your kin.’ “Moses spoke to the people, saying, ‘Let men be picked out from among you for a campaign, and let them fall upon Midian to […]

Pinchas by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Pinchas: Survival and Prophecy by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   “The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Attack and afflict the Midianites and smite them utterly—for they afflicted you by the trickery they practiced against you, because of the matter of Baal Peor, where the Israelites engaged in promiscuity with the Daughters of Midian, and because […]

Balak by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Balak: Peace Hopes, Priestly Zeal, and Homicide by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   “While Israel was camping at Shittim, the people profaned themselves…with the Moabite[?] women, who invited the people to the sacrifices for their god, Baal-Peor. The people partook of [the sacrifices] and worshiped that god. …Just then, an Israelite man came and brought […]

Korach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Korach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   I am Datan; perhaps you have heard of me. Yes, it’s true: my brother Aviram and I joined in Korach’s Rebellion. When the earth split open by the might of the LORD GOD and the command of Moses, we and the 250 Elders, poor fools!—fell down into Hell, […]

Shelach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Shelach: The Spy and the Shepherdess by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Send men to scout the land of Canaan…send one man from each of their ancestral tribes, each one a prince among them.’…When Moses sent them to scout the land of Canaan, he said to them, ‘Go up […]

Behaalotecha by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Behaalotecha: Eldad and Medad (Num. 11:26-30) by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Scene: Night in the wilderness. Far from the Israelite Encampment, two men in their late fifties, Eldad and Medad, sit by the remains of a campfire which flickers weakly, about to crumble into ashes and die. All the Israelites sleep the sleep of […]

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 […]