Sunday, July 31, 2011

Devarim 5771: Moses' First Speech--Historical Review and Revisionism

Wikipedia gives a general introduction to the background and the structure of the Book of Deuteronomy.  It is well worth reading it or the introduction to the book from any of the major Jewish commentaries such as the Plaut, Eitz Hayyim, the JPS or the Hertz Pentateuch to keep track of the themes and content as this sometimes gets lost in some of the details given. 

You will also notice a different tone in the language.  We will talk about that more when we get to the poetic sections.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Massei 5771: Settlements, Cities of Refuge & Zelophehad Redux

The details of the wanderings of the Jews may be seen in this map.

This map lists the allotments given to the 11 tribes.  The tribe of Levi was given a holding in a portion of each of the other tribes' land.  6 cities were also created to be cities of refuge.

These details were recorded to make certain that there would not be disputes between the tribes over the borders of their holdings.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mattot 5771: Vows, Vengeance and Valor

On the subject of vows I should mention:

People were so concerned about the possibility that they might not be able to completely fulfill vows they made tt that in later years the Kol Nidrei prayer was created to annul vows. This was highly controversial among the Jewish people.  The rabbis were concerned that people might be more inclined to make vows that they had no intention of keeping.  Others feared that people wouldn't trust the word of Jews if they thought that they could nullify a vow on Yom Kippur through the Kol Nidrei.  For more information on Kol Nidrei and vows see:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pinchas 5771: Zealots, Women's Rights and Passing the Torch

Pinchas 5771: Zealots, Women's Rights and Passing the Torch

This link will take you to a wonderful page explaining the special writing that is characteristic of this parasha in the Torah Scroll. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

SORRY TO HAVE DISAPPEARED...but coming back this week

Dear Everyone:

I have had to take a bit of a break to attend to some family and personal health issues...but all is well and Torah Threads will have a new episode on Sunday, July 10.