Portions Library

A collection of essays on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy, adapted from Torah Club.

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PORTIONS LIBRARY

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A Glutton and a Drunkard

Gluttony and drunkeness are two of the criteria the Torah requires for putting a rebellious son to death. In Luke 7:34, the Master alludes to this passage when He says, “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard …’”

The Least of the Commandments

Have you ever wondered what the "least of these commandments" is? According to the Talmud, one of the least of the commandments is Deuteronomy 22:6-7's admonition to drive away a wild bird from her nest before taking her young.

Love and War

Before the conquering soldier can consummate his desire and marry the woman, he has to allow her to mourn the loss of her family for a full month. During this period of time, she is to shave the hair of her head and (according to Rashi's reading of the Hebrew) let her fingernails grow.

Stoning Rebellious Children

Did the ancient Israelites really stone their rebellious children to death? The rabbis placed strict conditions and limitations on the scope and application of this law. The Talmud states, "There never has been a case of a 'stubborn and rebellious son' brought to trial and never will be" (b.Sanhedrin 71a).

Accursed of God

As the Jewish people struggled under the polemics and persecutions of the church, the Talui moniker provided an inside joke. Who is Yeshua? He is Talui, the Crucified One. And what does the Torah say? “Talui is accursed of God.” Deuteronomy 21:23 says, “He who is hanged is accursed of God.”

The Escaped Slave and Philemon

This law has significant bearing on the background of the epistle of Philemon. The God-fearing Gentile believer Philemon owned slaves. One of his slaves, a certain young man named Onesimus, escaped and fled to Rome where he encountered Philemon’s friends Paul and Epaphras. Under Paul’s tutelage, Onesimus met the Master and became a believer.