L’Shana Tova & Shabbat Shalom
* Brandeis University is whence we deliver this week’s comic. We are studying the ancient art of the Torah Maven with Amichai Lau Lavie and the Storahtellers. Our training is why this week’s comic is a one-pager.This begins the fifth and final book of the Torah, Deuteronomy, so we decided to tell [...]
This is a parsha of contradictions. Balak, king of Moab, fears the Egyptian Hebrews and seeks help from the powerful prophet, Balaam. YHWH goes back and forth as to whether or not Balaam can go to Moab. He finally goes and (according to some rabbis) tries to curse the Hebrews, but is only able to [...]
Zeus, king of the Greek gods, was not mentioned in this week’s parsha, though the Greeks did, for a time, occupy Palestine. His appearance as YHWH’s confessor is a device to let us put words in her mouth about how she might have felt about this week’s shocking turnaround in her relationship with Moses.
We’re in Israel for part 2 of the Israeli/Palestinian Comedy Tour! This has been a whirlwind. With show locations ranging from Haifa to Be’er Sheva, including Ra’anana, Tel Aviv, the Ambassador Hotel, Jerusalem and on and on. The show was nicely blogged on Jewschool. We also made TWO trips to fabulous West Bank city of [...]
Last one the year, Leahj says. Ignore that the image says Wednesday, it takes place TONIGHT @ FIXX.
via email: “Just a quick note to say that I hope I see some of you tonight at the Fixx at 7PM. The Fixx is at 3053 N. Sheffield Ave. in Chicago, and we will discuss ‘Judaism and [...]
What’s Israel’s favorite wine? “We wanna go back to Egypt!” Now that we’ve finally left Sinai and are on our way to Canaan it’s complain, complain, complain. The Hebrews demanded dietary diversity! Though for us it’s hard to figure why they needed the extra foods since manna tasted like whatever the eater wanted. We’re not [...]
YHWH demands that women suspected of adultery be brought before Her. It’s surprising, since last week’s parsha condemned any non-priest approaching YHWH to death. We have a theory of what was up. Practically speaking, we imagine the woman standing in the courtyard before the curtain of the Tent of the meeting. YHWH would dwell behind [...]
This week, YHWH (which we’re told can be pronounced, “Yoo Hoo Woo Hoo”) and her band of Hebrew homies begin their adventures “In the Wilderness.” Despite being about the business of raising an army, the parsha itself is REALLY DRY. You can see why it’s called the book of “Numbers.” They might also call it, [...]
Shalom Rav goes on about Fair Trade, Temple Taxes and our Torah portion, Behar-Bechukotai:
This week’s Torah portion, Behar-Bechukotai (Leviticus 25-27), contains numerous commandments to the Israelites to create a society based on principles of economic equity: the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, the equitable redemption of land, fair interest rates, the “tax scale” for funding the [...]
“Bring out the priests!” Hashem has established herself in her new earthly home. She’s placed her meal orders and now explains when and how her food will be acquired, which involves a bit of humiliation from Moses brother, the High Priest. She seems to simultanoously elevate and insult Aaron and his sons. But at least [...]
This week’s parsha is a double portion that finishes the book of Exodus (Shemot.) Most of it tells the story Bezalel and Oholiab, the two Hebrews in charge of building the tabernacle (Mishkan.) We read of all the ritual objects created for the Mishkan and of the structure itself, which was the early model for [...]
This week Moses’ relationship with his girlfriend G*d settles in to become downright domestic. After the golden calf unpleasantness She virtually disowns the Hebrews. But then, because Moses has her number, she relents and agrees not only to let the Hebrews live but also to accompany them to Canaan. Finally, as an extra treat just [...]
This week both YHWH and Versace are thinking priestly fashion. Moses and YHWH are still huddled within the cloud-topped Mount Sinai. Having spent last week laying out in precise detail, the structure She wants built, now She is waxing very specific about the attire of the cult priests who will supervise the bloody sacrifices She [...]
We spent this week in Phoenix as Aaron guest hosted the Mike Malloy show on the new NovaM Radio Network.
This week’s portion, Moses and 70 elders of Israel have lunch with their god, YHWH, and we see, once again, that Moses is G!d’s favorite Hebrew.
Meanwhile, in heaven, we peek in on a Torah study session [...]