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 […]

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 […]

Pesach Day 8 by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Isaiah, Prophet of Peace Day 8 of Pesach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   It was late, and I had yet to write an article about the Eighth Day of Pesach.The Torah portion was a pastiche of kosher laws, sacrificial directives, and a plea for tzedakah, charity—no unusual insights there. I had to teach in […]