Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

How Does a Story Begin? Not Like You Think

We might expect that the last book of the Torah would continue the story of the Israelites' amazing desert journey to a new land with new battles, diseases, places, and miracles. Instead, Deuteronomy is a book about mourning. Moses knows his life is drawing to a close. His death will mark the start of a new story.

Correcting is Respecting

This week's Torah portion asks us to consider respect. Is it more respectful to allow someone to say something inaccurate, or is it more respectful to correct them?

It’s An Old Song, But We Sing It Anyway

When I prepare the Torah scroll for the upcoming Shabbat and come to that white space dividing the end of the Book of Numbers from the beginning of Deuteronomy, I feel a moment of exhilaration.

How Moses Found His Voice – and How We Can, Too

Our fifth and final book begins by stating, “These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan” (Deut. 1:1). The Hebrew name for Deuteronomy, D’varim, literally means “words,” and this framing sets the entire book apart from the rest of the Torah.