poor and rich

Parashat Ki Tavo – materialism and egoism

“When you enter the Land that God is giving you…you shall take from the first of all the fruit of the ground” (Dt 26:1-2).   From these words we learn that everything that is for God’s sake should be of the best and most beautiful (cf. Rambam), as the Torah says: “Kol Khelev leHaShem” – Read More

nest

Ki Tetzei: The Bird’s Nest

  “If you come across a bird’s nest in the way… Do not take the mother bird together with the children” (Deut 22:6)   A RATIONAL APPROACH Like most commands in the Bible, God doesn’t tell us his reasons for this command. It is up to us to obey first and then understand, as stated Read More

Analyzing the Gospels (by Xus Casal) January 2017

Parashat Ekev – the Heel and Messiah

“It will come to pass, because (eikev) you will listen to these judgments… God will safeguard unto you the covenant and the kindness he swore to your fathers” (Dt7:12).   One expects this to be conditional: “If you’d listen to these judgments” (Im tiShmeun et hamishpatim haEleh), but it says: “Because you will listen to these Read More

Analyzing the Gospels (by Xus Casal) January 2017

Parashat Lekh Lekha – The Blessing and the Plants

“And Terah took Avram… and Lot… and Sarai… and they went forth with them from Ur Casdim to go to the land of Canaan” (Gn 11:31). Kasdim is the Hebrew name for the Chaldeans. What is Ur Kasdim? It can also be read as: “Ohr K’Shedim” – A Light that is like the one of Read More

Analyzing the Gospels (by Xus Casal) January 2017

Gematria Index

“R. Elazar ben Chisma said, “…Astronomy and Gematria are desserts (parperaot) of wisdom.” Pirkei Avot 3:23 7 Dag (Fish) – דג 13 Ahavah (Love) – אהבה Echad (One) – אחד 13 Middot of HaShem 14 David – דוד Hand – יד 18 Chai (Life) – חי The Amidah has 18 Benedictions, hence it is called Shemoneh Esrei (18). 26 Read More

Analyzing the Gospels (by Xus Casal) January 2017

Parashat Shemot – Names and Geulah

This week’s Parsha is Shemot. Shemot means “names”; since the portion starts with: ‘these are the names of the sons of Israel’ (Ex 1:1) Although Israel had fallen into Exile and slavery, The book starts enumerating the names of the children of Israel, to remind us that God didn’t abandon them [even though it seemed Read More