Weekly Torah Portion

The Festival of Shavuot: Bringing Torah Down to Earth

The joyous Festival of Shavuot is the anniversary of the Sinai Revelation, when the Creator bequeathed the Torah to the nation of Israel in a powerfully transcendent, spiritual experience that was nothing less than a prophetic glimpse of the reality of G-d. The Bible also calls this festival ‘the Day of First Fruits’ and ‘the Harvest Festival,’ and indeed, when the Holy Temple is standing the festival is marked by special agriculturally-related commandments. But there is no contradiction between the spiritual and the earthy, material dimensions of Shavuot…for G-d’s goal in bringing Torah down to earth is to sanctify, elevate and celebrate this world.   

Shavuot begins on 6 Sivan 5780, May 29, beginning at sunset May 28. Outside the Land of Israel, Shabbat 7 Sivan (May 30) is observed as the second day of Shavuot.  

 Jerusalem Lights Parashat Bamidbar 5780/Jerusalem Day Message

This Friday, May 22, is Jerusalem Day, the 53rd anniversary of the unification of the holy city of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War. And with just a week to go before the Festival of Shavuot, this Shabbat we begin to read the book of Bamidbar (Numbers), chronicling the Generation of the Desert. This week’s Torah portion of Bamidbar focuses on the formation of the encampment of the Children of Israel around the tabernacle in the desert, “each man by his banner according to the insignias of their father’s household.”  What is the significance of the flags of the tribes of Israel, and what special message do these flags convey to us today? And what is the connection to the celebration of Jerusalem Day? A happy Jerusalem Day to all! 

The Torah portion of Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20) is read on Shabbat: 

Iyar 29, 5780 – May 23, 2020 


Rabbi Chaim Richman Jerusalem Lights | Torah for Everyone 


Global Lock-down: A Time for Reflection, A Time for Change

The Book of Leviticus, the Divine Service, and the Temple Offerings: Heart of the Torah 

As we usher in the glorious month of Nisan, time of Redemption, the people of Israel now begin to read the third book of the Bible, Leviticus, called 'the heart of the Torah.'  How do we understand the korbanot, the Temple offerings, which seem so difficult to relate to in our modern world? Rabbi Chaim Richman and Jim Long discuss the meaning and significance of the Temple offerings in the shadow of  a world paralyzed by the Corona virus, which is now keeping nearly three billion people the world over in lock-down.


Rabbi Chaim Richman Jerusalem Lights | Torah for Everyone

Jerusalem Lights | Torah for Everyone