Portions Library

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

ShavuotRead / Listen to Portion


The Signs of Pentecost

According to Jewish tradition, the voice of God at Mount Sinai divided into seventy voices speaking seventy different tongues, and those voices looked like hot sparks flying forth from a hammer’s blows on stone. The voice of God appeared to Israel like hot, burning torches that descended like sparks.

Fundamentals of Faith

Our Master told us that “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” When God broke the silence and spoke to His creation at Mount Sinai, He spoke from the fullness of His heart. Each law and commandment, no matter how small or seemingly irrelevant, communicates a piece of revelation from God.

The Impassioned God

If your spouse told you, "I don't care whether you see other people; it doesn't bother me," you would be alarmed that he or she no longer holds your wedding vows as sacrosanct. It would bother you that your spouse had such little affection for you that infidelity was not even an issue.

Friend of the Bridegroom

In Jewish wedding customs, the friend of the bridegroom served as an intermediary between the suitor and the woman. In the wedding, he presented the bride to the groom. As the friend of the bridegroom, Moses was responsible for negotiating the match.

The Wedding Gift from God

If the covenant ceremony at Mount Sinai can be compared to a wedding, then the Sabbath can be compared to a wonderful wedding gift. Wrapped up in blessing and holiness, it is a gift that continues to radiate the love of God every week.

The Special Treasure

This can be compared to a king who had conquered many lands and possessed great wealth. His treasuries were filled with valuables, but he had one precious gemstone that he valued above all others. Rather than leave it in the treasury with the other valuables, he had it hung on a golden chain and wore it around his neck every day.