Archive for the Torah Portion Category

Salt of the Covenant

When discussing the levitical sacrifices, the Torah says, “all your offerings you shall offer salt” (Leviticus 2:13). The priesthood kept a pile of salt near the altar for this purpose. Unlike so many other rituals and ceremonial commandments, in this instance, the Torah explains the meaning of […]

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The ‘Church’ at Mount Sinai

Moses returned from atop Mount Sinai, radiating the glory of God. As soon as he arrived in the camp, he “assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel.” This Torah portion takes its name from the first Hebrew word of Exodus 35:1, “vaykhel.” The verb kahal […]

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People are not Numbers

The Torah prescribes a special way of taking a census of Israel. When taking a census, the people of Israel were to each contribute a half-shekel coin. Then the census taker could tally the number of coins to arrive at the sum total of the people: This […]

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