Tag Archives: parsha

Chumash Class

28 Mar

Not actual guy giving shiur. Way less Godfather.

Here’s the next segment in the chumash class email-posting experiment. If you didn’t read last week’s kickoff post, it’s like this: There’s a men’s chumash class at a secret location in Baltimore every week. My friend writes emails announcing them, and I post them here as free material and a little advertisement. Since he doesn’t want letter-bombs from strangers (that’s a friends-only perk), I’m leaving off the where, when, how, etc. If you’re interested in going to a fascinating, friendly, small parshah class, email nweisbord@gmail.com. Oh, and there’s fresh home-made cookies. Ok, without further ado, here’s the email you’ve been waiting so patiently for:

So, a whole lot going on these days. Much fodder for us talking heads, us would-be political pundits. Us late-night entertainers with our one-liners and flashing lights. Us world wide web bloggers and vloggers and tweeters (oh my). The Supreme Court is looking at the constitutionality (or lack thereof) of Obamacare, there’s a rather large hullabaloo over the tragic death of young Trayvon in Florida, a JetBlue pilot went bananas on a flight to Vegas (they say Vegas can do that to some people), Dennis Rodman was in court saying he’s broke and can’t pay child or ex-spousal support, megamillions jackpot is at over 300 million, and on and on it goes. Not to mention the news on the international front. There’s much to discuss.

But with all that’s going on – and I’m sure this is just passing most of you by, what with all the Passover rush and craziness – the one story that really stands out (to me, at least) is about a study that took place recently in Sydney, Australia. The study proves beyond a reasonable doubt that school homework offers very little benefit. The research actually shows that, in countries where they spend more time on homework, the achievement results are lower! I can’t speak for you all but I know I’m not alone when I take a deep breath, look at myself in the mirror, and then break into a slow-motion version of the Thriller dance steps. I do believe we won! It may have taken a while but we won! This maybe a bit too early for you all, but your kids will love it (if you caught that reference then give yourself an extra 25 bonus points).

And I think that’s the perfect segue into the chumash class, We know that homework is worthless, but we can all agree that class is essential and just keeps us going. So what are you waiting for? Get your rear end in gear and head over to Y—‘s house at (Classified Information) cus we’re on for the class! We’ll dive into topics like ‘Obamacare and the Supreme Court – Passover Style!’ and of course ‘MegaMillions: How a simple $300 million donation to chumash class can change your life for the better’ and maybe even ‘The Pope Goes to Cuba – What the heck can that mean to our Torah portion?’ (not sure if there will be enough time, that’s my only concern). So grab your partner, bring some hametz, and get down to Yehuda’s place and take a break from your Passover cleaning.

Ok, if you’re interested in checking it out, get the info from my friend at, once again, nweisbord@gmail.com

Pinchas: This Shit Is Going Down

14 Jul

I think that many people today have trouble with Pinchas. The story is pretty gruesome, especially after you read Rashi about the genital shishkebobbery and all that. What did the guy do so bad after all? Get a little Midyani action on the side? Why is that anyone’s business besides for him and God?

But if you can visualize the characters and the scene, it makes more sense. Everyone starts worshiping the Midyanite Baal and sleeping with the Midyanite women. God says to Moshe something like: Excise this evil from your midst. Take all the leaders with you, round up the sinners, and string them up. For if you do not, verily I shall smite thee terribly. Forthwith.

Moshe: Forthwith?

God: Look it up. I’m not a dictionary.

So Moshe’s going around with the leaders separating the sinners from the congregation, when word gets out that one of the leaders is sleeping with the enemy.

Shevet Shimon: Uh, hey Zimri, what are you doing?

Zimri: Dude, let’s stop all this fighting. Let’s just make peace.

Shimon: Ok, um, I don’t know if you realized this, but idolatry’s a pretty big thing for God. He just, really like 5 minutes ago, he just told Moshe to go publicly hang all the people involved. So, uh, could you stop doing that?

Zimri: Trust me dude, it’s cool. I’m not worshiping Baal. Besides, I’m the leader of this whole tribe. Moshe can’t kill all of us. Everything’s fine. Go get some of this before it’s all gone.

Out of breath guy to Pinchas: …so then he said it’s ok because he’s not doing anything wrong. Whew. Where’s the water rock? I’m dying here.

Pinchas: Holy shit, are you serious? Get me a fuckin spear. Pronto.

(Cross-posted on FrumSatire)

Korach And Parsha Names

23 Jun

When I was a kid, I was always curious why the meforshim on the Chumash sometimes used different names for the parshios. They called Acharei Mos, “Acharei”, and Teztaveh was “Veatah tetzaveh”. When did the names we use become standard?

Well, I don’t know exactly when that got hammered down, but one thing I do know is that all the questions of why certain parshios are named the way they are, are most probably baseless. The parshios got their names based on the words in the beginning that can be used to distinguish one parsha from another. Why is Korach named after a bad person? Because the parsha starts with “Vayikach korach” and since “korach” is more memorable than “vayikach”, being a major theme in the parsha and all that, we call it that. Shoyn.