TORAH READING FOR 18 ADAR 5783 Mar 10-11, 2023
From “The Haftarah Commentary” / by Plaut and Stern UAHC Press 1996, p.564
Words to Remember
I will give you a new heart,/ and a new spirit will I put within you;/ I will remove the heart of stone from your body,/ and give you a heart of flesh. (Ez. 36:26)
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/ki-tisa
Ki Tisa (כִּי תִשָּׂא — When You Take a Census) – Exodus 30:11-34:35
The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: “When you take a census of the Israelite men according to their army enrollment, each shall pay the Eternal a ransom for himself on being enrolled, that no plague may come upon them through their being enrolled.” – Exodus 30:11-12
- Moses takes a census of the Israelites and collects a half-shekel from each person (30:11-16)
- God tells Moses to construct a water basin and to prepare anointing oil and incense for the ordination of the priests. Bezalel and Oholiab, skilled artisans, are assigned to make objects for the priests and the Tabernacle. (30:17-31:11)
- The Israelites are instructed to keep Shabbat as a sign of their covenant with God. God gives Moses the two tablets of the Pact. (31:12-18)
- The Israelites ask Aaron to build them a Golden Calf. Moses implores God not to destroy the people and then breaks the two tablets of the Pact on which the Ten Commandments are written when he sees the idol. God punishes the Israelites by means of a plague. (32:1-35)
- Moses goes up the mountain with a blank set of tablets for another 40 days so that God will again inscribe the Ten Commandments. Other laws, including the edict to observe the Pilgrimage Festivals, are also revealed. (34:1-28)
- Moses comes down from the mountain with a radiant face. (34:29-35)
HAFTARAH – Shabbat Parah
Ezekiel 36:22-36 [historic: Ezekiel 36:16-38]
From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ki_Tissa
Connection to the Parashah – On Shabbat Parah
When the parashah coincides with Shabbat Parah (the special Sabbath prior to Passover — as it does in ), the [historic] haftarah is Ezekiel 36:16–38. On Shabbat Parah, the Sabbath of the red heifer, Jews read Numbers 19:1–22, which describes the rites of purification using the red heifer (parah adumah). Similarly, the haftarah in Ezekiel also describes purification. In both the special reading and the haftarah in Ezekiel, sprinkled water cleansed the Israelites.
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/ki-tisa
By: Jonathan K. Crane
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
For Torah Study, instead of the portion from the Book of Exodus that is read on this Shabbat, we will read the Haftarah (a selection from the prophets) from Ezekiel 36:22-36. You can read this week’s Torah Portion at https://www.sefaria.org/Exodus.30.11-34.35, the maftir portion https://www.sefaria.org/Numbers.19.1-22, and the Haftarah we will be studying at https://www.sefaria.org/Ezekiel.36.22-36
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
כי תשא Ki Tisa – Exodus 30:11-34:35
Post-biblical Interpretations – by Judith R. Baskin, pp. 514-515
See, I have singled out by name Bezalel … I have endowed him with … skill, ability, and knowledge (31:2–3). According to rabbinic midrash, Miriam’s husband was Caleb (Sh’mot Rabbah 1.17; Sifrei B’midbar 78; BT Sotah 12a); given that Bezalel–the craftsman who designed the Tabernacle and supervised its construction–was Caleb’s great-grandson (I Chronicles 2:18–20), this means that he was also Miriam’s great-grandson. In Sh’mot Rabbah 48:3–4, the Rabbis connected Exodus 31:2–3 with Job 28:28, “See! Fear of Adonai is wisdom (chochmah); / To shun evil is understanding (binah).” They explained that “fear of Adonai” referred to Jochebed and Miriam, whom the Rabbis identified with the God-fearing midwives of Exodus 1:21. Since the reward for fearing God is Torah, Jochebed gave birth to Moses, through whom the Torah was revealed. As for Miriam, because she “shunned evil” she became the great-grandmother of Bezalel, known for his “skill (chochmah), ability (t’vunah–a noun related to binah), and knowledge” (31:3).
Upon finishing speaking with him …, [God] gave Moses the two tablets (31:18). The Hebrew expression rendered here as “upon finishing” (k’chaloto) is almost identical to a term that means “as his bride.” (The two words differ by one vowel.) Based on that wordplay, the Rabbis sometimes understood part of this verse as: [God] gave Moses, as his bride, the two tablets. The feminine personification of the Torah as the bride of Israel is an ancient tradition. In Sh’mot Rabbah 41.5, the Rabbis declared that when God “gave the Torah to Israel, it was then as dear to them as a bride is to her spouse.”
all the people took off the gold rings that were in their ears (32:2–3). According to Midrash Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer 45, only the men contributed jewelry; the Israelite women refused to surrender their earrings for the forging of the Golden Calf, rejecting it as “a graven and molten image without any power.” In recognition of their faithfulness, God rewarded the women both in this world and the world-to-come. In this world, they received special privileges on Rosh Chodesh (the New Moon), traditionally a day on which Jewish women abstained from work. And in the world-to-come, “women are destined to be renewed like the new moons.” (For more on women and Rosh Chodesh, see P’kudei, Post-biblical Interpretations, p. 560 [of “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary”].)
As soon as Moses came near the camp … he hurled the tablets from his hands (32:19). The Rabbis repeatedly compared Israel’s rejection of God in favor of the Golden Calf to a woman’s sexual betrayal of her fiancé or husband. In Sh’mot Rabbah 43.1, they likened Moses’ decision to destroy the tablets to the act of a marriage broker, sent by a king to betroth a certain woman. While the broker was en route with the marriage document, the woman “corrupted herself with another man.” The broker immediately destroyed the marriage document, saying it was better that she be judged as an unattached wanton woman than as a married woman who had been unfaithful. Similarly, Moses destroyed the tablets, saying it was better that Israel be judged as ignorant and foolish rather than as having deliberately disobeyed the commandments forbidding idolatry that they had just received.
And יהוה said to Moses: Write down these commandments (34:27). Midrash D’varim Rabbah 3.17 asks why the first tablets were written by God and the second set were inscribed by a human being. The reply is another analogy: This is like a king who married a woman and gladly paid for all the expenses of preparing the marriage contract. When he saw his wife behaving in an inappropriate manner with one of his servants, he was enraged and sent her away. His groomsman pled on her behalf and explained that since she was brought up among servants, she did not know her actions were wrong. The king agreed to be reconciled with his wife, but he required the groomsman to pay the costs for a new marriage contract. Similarly, Moses beseeched God to remember that Israel had spent many years in “Egypt, the house of idolatry,” and to forgive the lapse with the Golden Calf. Although God agreed to the reconciliation, God’s ardor was now cooled and Moses was required to prepare and inscribe the tablets himself. (So also Sh’mot Rabbah 47.2.)
PESACH – April 5-13, 2023 – 14-22 Nisan 5783
Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread
Pesach for Hebrew Year 5783 begins in the Diaspora at sundown on Wednesday, 5 April 2023 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, 13 April 2023. [In Israel and for Reform Jews Pesach is seven days. See Reform Judaism/Passover https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/passover]
Passover (Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesach) commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.
Temple Kol Hamidbar will have an in-person community Seder in Sierra Vista, Wednesday, April 5, 2023. Dr. Sam Caron, Congregational President, will provide more details closer to the time. Meanwhile, if you are interested in helping lead the Seder please contact Dr. Caron. You are free to bring Kosher for Passover desserts to the Seder.
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 18 Adar through 24 Adar , we lovingly remember:
Madeleine Albright (first Yahrzeit)
Of Jewish Heritage and First Female Secretary of State
Hilda Klein (first Yahrzeit)
Mother of Bill Klein
Samuel J. Alexander
TKH Memorial Board, Father of Holly Sickles
TKH Memorial Board, Husband of Enid Schwartz z”l
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, March 10, 2023. For the next few months we will read and discuss the Haftarah, each selection from the prophets following the weekly Torah Portion.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Haftarah Ki Tisa – Shabbat Parah: Ezekiel 36:22-36
Time: Mar 10, 2023 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Mar 10, 2023 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat/Gut Shabbos
PS – About the Book of Ezekiel:
From Jewish Encyclopedia
From My Jewish Learning
Timelines from Wikipedia