In Loving Memory of our Dear Parents

Benjamin Assa & Rebeca Assa z"L

Perasha Bereshit

Bereshit is the 1st Parasha of the Torah! It talks about the Creation of the World and narrates a span of 10 generations, from Adam until Noach!!

"Bereshit bara El-kim et Hashamayim veet haarets" 

 ("In the beginning Hashem created the Heavens and the Earth)

 »CHAP 1 :

Hashem created the world in 6 days:

 *On the 1st day Hashem created light and separated it from darkness.

*On the 2nd day Hashem divides the”upper waters,” from the “lower waters.”

 *On the 3rd day He sets the boundaries of land and sea, and calls forth trees and greenery from the earth.

*On the 4th day He fixes the position of the sun, moon and stars as timekeepers and illuminators of the earth.

*Fish, birds and reptiles are created on the 5th day.

*On the 6th day the land animals, and last but not least the Human Being.

*On the 7th day Hashem ceases from work, and sanctifies it as a day of rest, SHABBAT KODESH.

 »CHAP. 2:

Describes the “Gan Eden” and places Adam and Chava in it.

And they are commanded not to eat from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”.

»CHAP. 3:

The serpent persuades Chava to violate the command, and she shares the forbidden fruit with her husband. Because of their sin, it is decreed that man will experience death, returning to the soil from which he was formed, and that all gain will come only throughstruggle and hardship. Hashem punishes the serpent, Adam and Chava. They are banished from Gan Eden.

»CHAP. 4:

Chava gives birth to two sons, Cain and Ebel. Cain, induced by envy, murders Ebel, so Hashem curses Cain and his descendants are doomed to extinction.

It also speaks about Lemech, a descendant of Cain. He takes 2 wives (Adah and Silah). And he has 3 children: Yabal dedicated to livestock, Yubal dedicated to music, and Tubal-Cain dedicated to metals.

Lemech was blind, and accidentally killed his grandfather Cain and his son Tubal-Cain !!!

Then Adam and Chava have a 3rd child: Seth, Seth’s eighth-generation descendant, Noah, is the only righteous man in a corrupt world.

»CAP 5:

Adam lived 930 años.

It narrates the 10 generaciones from Adam to Noach.

It explains how humanity comes from Seth, as Ebel was killed childless and the seed of Cain later died in the flood.

»CHAP 6: 

Describes the depravity of mankind. And Hashem said: "I have to erase humankind from the face of the earth ..." But Noach found grace in the eyes of Hashem.”

SHABBAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Vesot-Haberacha

And with this Parasha we culminate the reading of the five books of the Torah, which is read with much joy on Simcha Torah.

V’Zot HaBerachah “And this is the blessing...” recounts the blessings that Moshe gave to each of the twelve tribes of Israel before his death. Recalling Yaakov´s blessings to his twelve sons five generations earlier, Moshe assigns and empowers each tribe with its specific role within the Nation.

Moshe ascends Mount Nebo, from whose summit he saw the entire the Promised Land and Hashem says:

"This is the Land I swore to Abraham, to Itzjak, and to Yaakov, saying, 'I will give it to your offspring.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there."

The Torah describes: “...And Moshe, Hashem´s servant, died there, in the land of Moab, by the mouth of the Almighty

And He buried him in the valley, in the land of Moab, opposite. And no person knows the place of his burial, unto this day...”

“...And Moshe was 120 years old when he died, His eye had not dimmed, nor had he lost his natural freshness.... And the Children of Israel wept over his death for 30 years...”

And the Torah finishes: “And there was no other prophet who arose in Israel like Moshe, whom Hashem knew face to face. For all the wonders and miracles he performed in Egypt...”

“...and for all the greatness he performed before the eyes of all ISRAEL.”

 Immediately after finishing this Parasha, we begin reading The Torah, from the beginning, with the Parasha Bereishit.

SHABBAT SHALOM!!

Parasha Hazinu

This is a special Parasha, since it is written in poem or song-like form, delivered by Moshe to the People of Israel on last day before his death. Calling heaven and earth as witnesses, he says the following:

  1. First Moshe reminds The People about the importance of always having EMUNA in Hashem and trust in His judgement.
  2. He reminds them howridiculous it is to rebel and disobey Hashem.
  3. Moshe recalls Humanity´s History.
  4. Moshe reminds the People of Israel that Hashem was the One Who guided them and protected them throughout their 40 years in the wilderness.
  5. He advises them to be loyal to Hashem, so they can benefit from His protection.
  6. Moshe prophesied on the Final Redemption in the End of Times when...”Divine Justice will emerge, and all iniquities will end…”
  7. He ends his “song” by reminding The People about their mission to transmit the Torah to all future generations, therefore forming a “line of continuity.”

And Hashem spoke to Moshe on that very day, saying,

Ascend Mt. Nevo and you will see Eretz Israel from there. For you will die on that mountain, your death will be caused by a “Divine Kiss.” Hashem continues, “You caused the Jews to rebel against Me, and My Name to be desecrated, when you smote the rock at the Waters of Meriva.”

 

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Parasha Vayelech

This Parasha narrates what Moshe did and said the last day of his life: “Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and Hashem said to me, ´You shall not cross this Jordan...Yehoshua will cross with you.´”

Moshe writes the complete Torah and hands it to the Tribe of Levy. And tells them that every 7 years, in Succot, after the conclusion of Shemitah, Sabbatical year, the leader of the People must read the entire Torah before the entire congregation of Israel, this commandment is known as Hakhel.

Hashem tells Moshe: “Call Yehoshua so you can hand him the leadership.”

And Hashem transmits the last prophecy: “Behold, you are about to lie with your forefathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the deities of the nations of the land, into which they are coming. And they will forsake Me and violate My covenant which I made with them.

And My fury will rage against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will befall them, and they will say on that day, 'Is it not because Hashem is no longer among us, that these evils have befallen us?'

Hashem commands Moshe to write the entire and to teach it to the Children of Israel.

Moshe finished writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, and then commands the Levites, who carried the ark:

…. “And take this Torah scroll and place it along side the ark of covenant of the Lord, your God, and it will be there as a witness.”

 ¡¡ SHABAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Nitzavim

This Parasha, Nitzavim, is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashana.

Moshe continues to speak to The People, emphasizing Hashem´s Goodness which will soon permit them to enter The Promised Land, safe and well.

Moshe exhorted the people that the Covenant (from the Parasha before) which they have just entered with Hashem will last throughout all of the generations to come.

Then Moshe warns the People about idol worshipping, the iniquities, and the perversions the other nations practice, which the Jewish have witnessed throughout their years int he wilderness.

Moshe continues by warning them that if they yield to this evil inclination, he will be drawn to worse sins, and know that Hashem will not forgive this hideous attitude. The Divine anger will be rekindled against him and the curses written in the Torah will be fulfilled.

And if you then ask, “Why does Hashem punish His Chosen People this way?” they will be answered: “This happened, because you have transgressed Hashem´s covenant. You swayed from His ways and walked amongst idol worshippers. And that is why He has exiled you from the Land .”

In the last chapter Moshe promises that if the Jewish People do Teshuva in exile, Hashem will redeem them. “All of the People will return to Hashem and fulfill of the mitzvot and the Laws of the Torah with all their heart and soul, and so Hashem will return all of His People from exile and guide them to the Land which was promised to our Forefathers, to reside in it with greater prosperity and welfare than their ancestors enjoyed.”

Moshe continues saying: “This Law is not difficult to understand, ´For the word is very near to you in your heart and in your mouth that you may do it.´"

The principle of free choice.

 

“See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil . . .You shall choose life, so that you may live, you and your seed.

To love the L rd your G d, to obey His voice and to cleave to Him, for He is your life . . .

Perasha Ki-Tabo

This parasha is considered the harshest of all parashiot, since it contains the Kelalot (curses) which Hashem sentenced Am Israel to, in case they would disobey His Laws. But the beautiful and precious Berachot (blessings) which Hashem will send if we fulfill His Will, are also mentioned.

The parasha begins speaking about the Mitzva of bringing the first fruits (Bikurim) to the Beit Hamikdash, specifically the 7 fruits which grow in Eretz Israel. Every Israelite farmer who cultivated one of these fruits, should choose the first of the season and bring it to Yerushalayim to offer it in the Beit Hamikdash. Every farmer, with his basket of fruits, would approach the Kohen and say a tefilla thanking Hashem for his harvest.

 

Moshe teaches the Mitzva of Maaser (Tithe): the deadlines, forms and conditions when giving the maaser.

Moshe then orders the leaders of The People to build 12 large stones in which they would write the entire Torah, after crossing the Jordan to enter the Promised Land.

This is where, very clearly and directly the terrible curses and the precious blessings ,are expressed! 

The Parasha continues by Moshe saying “Hashem has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear, until this very day” ... 40 years after we were born as A people.

The Parasha concludes by saying:

with the words Moshe said to the People, reminding them about the great miracles Hashem had performed for them: “....Keep the words of this covenant and do them, so that you may prosper in all that you do.”

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Ki - Tetze

This Parasha is the parasha that contains the most laws!!

 

-The laws concerning a captive gentile women:

-A father may not deprive his first-born son of the double portion due to him

-The “rebellious” son

-the prisoner sentenced to death

-the mitzva of returning lost property to its owner

-to help a Jew load and unload a burden

-mitzva of burying a dead on the day of his execution

-not to dress clothing of the opposite sex

-to send away the mother bird before taking the fledglings

-mitzva to fence in a roof or porch

-not to dress wool and linen together

-to use tzitzit

-different kinds of animals may not be harnessed together

-prohibition of adultery, infidelity, rape and incest

-forbidden marriages

-laws regarding a servant who escapes from his master

-laws on loans and interests

-laws on divorces and remarriages

-concessions of farmworker.

-laws for the one who takes a new woman

-the death sentence of a kidnapper

-laws of “Tzaraat” (leprosy)

-payment and collection laws

-to have consideration for an orphan and a widow

-prohibition against false weights and measures

-the mitzva of Yibum, commandment to marry his widowed sister-in-law if she is childless.

-to pay compensation for shaming someone

-and last:the mitzva to remember the evil which Amalek did to Us and to wipe him out

 

 

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Perasha Shoftim

As its name indicates, this Parasha speaks about the Judges (Shoftim) and the importance of justice in any society.

“.... and they will Judge the People according to The Law, without corruption or preferences...”

The Parasha continues by mentioning the prohibition of planting trees in the Beit Hamikdash and building statues.

It then goes on to explain the Judicial process:

1. The inquiry 2. testimony of the two witnesses 3. determining veracity of testimony 4. the trial 5. the sentence

The Torah warns: “Don´t depart from what they (the judges of the Great Sanhedrin) tell you, to the right or to the left!”

Then the Torah mentions, that once settled in the Land, the Jewish people are commanded to appoint a Jewish king, who will be chosen by Hashem´s prophet and by the Sanhedrin. It was the King´s obligation to carry a Sefer Torah at all times, and constantly read it, to respect Hashem and His Torah and to avoid feeling superior to others and not stray from the ways of Hashem and His mitzvot.

The Torah assures us that we do not need to consult diviners regarding our future, for we must trust that Hashem has prepared it in the best possible way for us.

The Parasha continues with laws regarding the Kohanim and the Leviim, “officials” dedicated to the Divine Service in the Beit Hamikdash.

Moshe warns the People against assimilating with the nations who will live side by side in Eretz Israel.

The next chapter discusses the prohibition against invading the rights of others. It also explains the rule of judicial testimony, which is only valid when there are 2 WITNESSES.

 

 

At the end of the Parasha, Moshe encourages the Yehudim by telling them: “Do not fear anything or anyone, because Hashem will be with you and will always lead you to victory !!

 

And certain laws concerning warfare are mentioned, for example: a person who has things pending, concerns, or is afraid to go to war, should return home. Hashem who loves peace, commands Bnei Israel not to wage war before making a peace offer to the enemy. The Torah mentions that we may not destroy the enemies´fruit trees, or anything useful, and that they must respect the victims.

 

The Parasha ends by mentioning “The Calf Whose Neck is Broken” Egla Arufa,which was sacrificed in order to atone for a murder who´s murderer´s identity was unknown, and so the judges and the sages of the closest city to the murder bring a one-year-old calf that never performed labor to sacrifice it so it could atone for the sin.

Perasha Ree

This Parasha begins as Moshe explains that a Jew brings blessings upon himself by fulfilling Hashem´s will and incurs a curse for a transgression, thereby exercising the “free will” Hashem gave each one of us.

Then Moshe warns The People against 3 transgressions:

1. When a false prophet predicts without Divine inspiration.

2. When a person incites another into idol worship.

3. When a nation practices idolatry. 

Moshe continues reminding The People that we are children of Hashem, and that we should take care of our body, without

disfiguring ourselves and by consuming forbidden foods.

The Kosher animals are mentioned, as well as the laws of “Shechita” and the mitzva of not “mixing meat and milk.”

Then the laws of “Maaser” (to set aside your tithe) are mentioned. And every three years you should settle your outstanding Maaser debts.

The Parasha continues mentioning the mitzva of Shemitta (Sabbatical year) in which all debts due to a loan expire.

“If there will be among you a needy person, from one of your brothers in one of your cities... you shall not harden your heart, and you shall not close your hand from your needy brother. Rather, open, open your hand to him, and you shall lend him sufficient for his needs, which he is lacking...

You shall surely give him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; for because of this thing Hashem will bless you in all your work and in all your endeavors.”

The Mitzvot to provide for his Hebrew Slave and the offerings of first born animals (which were offered to the Kohen).

The Parasha concludes with the laws regarding the festivities of Pesach, Shavuot and Succot, in which each male needed to bring his sacrifice to the Beit Hamikdash.

Both men and women are commanded by the Torah to be in happy spirits on all the yamim tovim.

 

Perasha Ekeb

Eikev means “because.” Moshe promises that for fulfilling the Mitzvot, Am Israel will prosper.

Moshe speaks to the People and asks them not to fear the other nations they will be conquering since Hashem will be on their side.

Moshe warns Bnei Israel not to forget Hashem, His Torah and Mitzvot, even when living in prosperity, in beautiful homes, with flourishing businesses, Never forget Hashem, Who took you out of slavery.

Moshe reminds them about the mann that was given to them in the wilderness and tells them “By means of the mann Hashem trained you to trust him...” and he continues “the giving of the mann taught you a life long lesson:”

“Man does not live by bread alone, but by each saying that emanates from Hashem´s mouth does man live.” 

Moshe tells them that they will enter the Promised Land because Hashem promised our forefathers He would do so, and NOT because of our merits since we are a disobedient People.

Moshe reminds them about the terrible episodes that occurred in the wilderness: The sin of the golden calf, the rebellion upon the disappearance of Miriam´s well, the complaints when you wanted to eat more meat, and the sad and shameful incident of the unfaithful spies who spoke Lashon Hara about the Promised Land.

Moshe also reminds them about the destruction of the 1st set of tablets and the receiving of two new Tablets mande of stone to be placed in the Ark.

Immediately the following verse of the Shema Israel appears:

"Veahaya im Shamoa" where all the consequences of the future are mentioned. 

In the Parashah's closing verses, Moshe once again calls upon the people to love Hashem, to fulfill His commandments and to "walk in all His ways, and to cleave to Him."

SHABAT SHALOM !!

Parasha Vaetchanan

In this Parasha Moshe insistently implores (Vaetchanan) Hashem to let him enter the Promised Land.

But Hashem demands him not to beseech not one more time and orders him to ascend to the top of the summit to observe the Land which the Yehudim will enter with his successor Yehoshua ben Nun as their leader.

Then Moshe warns The People to keep and practice the just and perfect laws they received at Har Sinai, which govern our Great People.

Moshe asks the People not to forget their years in the wilderness and to transmit it to their descendants.

Then Moshe reminds them of the great success of the giving of the Torah, when Hashem revealed HimSelf at Har Sinai. And here the 10 Commandments are repeated.

Moshe warns, "and if you abandon the Torah, you will be expelled from the Holy Land, and G-D will scatter you, and you will live in a minority, discriminated against and secluded ... and you will deteriorate morally and assimilate ... But there will come a day that you will react and will seek Hashem, and you will find Him, and you will return to Him with all your heart and soul, because G-D is Pious and will not abandon you !!”

And here appears the verse of Our outmost faith and loyalty to Hashem, the SHEMA ISRAEL!!!

….and these words...You shall teach them to your children, you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder between your eyes.. and you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house....”

The Parsha concludes reminding The People of the prohibition of mixed marriages, as this will ignite Hashem´s wrath forfeiting their right to exist.

¡¡ SHABAT SHALOM !!


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