Join us on Saturdays at 9:15am (Attend once, once in awhile or every week)
The cornerstone of our learning is our Saturday morning Torah Study. We discuss the weekly Torah portion and have a lively and spirited conversation as we relate this ancient text to our daily lives.
No special training or prerequisite courses are necessary for you to attend. Neither is there an entrance requirement for the understanding of Torah. When we come to it in study, there are no barriers to keep us distant from our heritage.
Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18)
Moses details many of God’s laws to the Israelites. These include laws about worshipping other gods, kashrut, business ethics, and treatment of animals. God outlines the details of three holidays: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. God provides an angel to protect the Israelites from their enemies, and warns the Israelites not to worship other gods. Moses goes up to Mount Sinai to meet with God for 40 days and 40 nights, leaving Aaron and Hur in charge.
Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19)
Moses is instructed to accept gifts from the Israelites to be used in construction of a sanctuary so that God can dwell among the people. The people of Israel are called upon to contribute thirteen materials—gold, silver and copper; blue-, purple- and red-dyed wool; flax, goat hair, animal skins, wood, olive oil, spices and gems—out of which, God says to Moses, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, and I shall dwell amidst them.”
On the summit of Mount Sinai, Moses is given detailed instructions on how to construct this dwelling for God so that it could be readily dismantled, transported and reassembled as the people journeyed in the desert. God shows Moses the pattern according to which the Tabernacle and its contents are to be made. The tablets of the laws are to be kept in the Ark
Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10)
Moses is told to instruct the Israelites to bring olive oil for lighting the lamps of the Tabernacle. Aaron and his sons are responsible for lighting them each day. The priests are told how to dress in preparation for ordination. All kohanim wore: 1) the ketonet—a full-length linen tunic; 2) michnasayim—linen breeches; 3) mitznefet or migba’at—a linen turban; 4) avnet—a long sash wound above the waist.
In addition, the high priest wore the efod—an apron-like garment made of blue-, purple- and red-dyed wool, linen and gold thread; the choshen—a breastplate containing twelve precious stones inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; the me’il—a cloak of blue wool, with gold bells and decorative pomegranates on its hem; the tzitz—a golden plate worn on the forehead, bearing the inscription “Holy to God.”
Tetzaveh also includes G d’s detailed instructions for the seven-day initiation of Aaron and his four sons—Nadav, Avihu, Elazar and Itamar—into the priesthood, and for the making of the golden altar, on which the ketoret (incense) was burned.
Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35)
When God has finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, God gives Moses two tablets on which are inscribed the laws. But the people below have been impatient. They ask Aaron to make them a god to lead them. Aaron takes the gold jewelry of the people and casts a Golden Calf. The next day the people offer sacrifices to the calf. On the mountain, God tells Moses that the Israelites have turned away from the laws and that God will destroy them. Moses pleads with God to remember the promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to spare the people. God agrees. Moses descends from the mountain where his anger at seeing the golden idol, provokes him to smash the tablets of law. After the people have been punished, Moses must plead again with God not to forsake the covenant. God tells Moses to carve two new tablets of stone for God to inscribe again with the words of the law. When Moses descends from Mount Sinai the second time, his face was radiant because he had spoken with God.
Vayak’heil-Pekude (Exodus 35:1-40:38)
God commands the Israelites not to do any work in the Sanctuary on Shabbat. Moses told them to collect gifts of materials from those whose heart so moved them — gifts of gold, silver, copper, colored yarns, fine linen, goats hair, tanned ram skins, acacia wood, olive oil, spices, lapis lazuli, and other stones. Moses invited all who were skilled to make the Tabernacle, its furnishings, and the priests’ vestments. Moses says that Ohaliab and Bezalel, who are filled with the spirit of God, should take the gifts of the Israelites and build God’s Sanctuary.
In Pekude, Aaron and the priests are given their clothing for work in the Sanctuary. God told Moses to set up the Tabernacle, and Moses did just as God had commanded him. Moses anoints Aaron and his sons to make their priestly positions official. Moses finished the work, and the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and God’s Presence filled the Tabernacle. When the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the Israelites would set out, and when the cloud did not lift, they would not set out. And God’s cloud rested over the Tabernacle by day, and fire would appear in it by night, throughout the Israelites’ journeys.