Behar and Moedim 2018-19

We begin this week’s teaching by first stepping back to Torah portion Emor to address the important topic of the Lord’s appointed times, the mo’edim, with special focus on the seemingly oddly placed verse that separates the spring and fall mo’edim. Moving on to parshah Behar, we hone in on the verb “you shall count,” finding a deep pattern in the Torah’s use of this command. Lastly, we explore the profound historical consequences Israel suffered for not following the shmitah commandment to allow the land to rest.

Visuals: Behar and Moedim 2018-19.pdf

Medios Visuales: Behar 2018-19.pdf


  1. by Dane Kappler

    On June 2, 2019


    Totally unrelated to this: I was reading I Corinthians this morning and saw that chapter 2 verses 9 and 10 are quoting something. I suspected it was the Zohar, but I don’t have a copy of that. You are the only person I know who has read it in it’s entirety so I thought you might know.

    My cross references say Isaiah 64:4 and Isaiah 65;17, but those don’t align very well. My internet search says Origen attributed it to a apocryphal book of Elijah, but that seems suspect.

    Do you know?

    Dane Kappler

  2. by L. Grant Luton

    On June 2, 2019

    Dane, Great to hear from you! I don’t think this is a quote from the Zohar. It seems to be taken loosely from Isaiah 52:15 & 64:4. (This quote is also attributed to Yeshua in the Gospel of Thomas-v.17, if you put stock in that.) The Talmud (b.Sanhedrin 99a) has an interesting comment that kind of aligns with the quote: R’Chaya bar Abba said in the name of R’ Yochanan: All the prophets prophesied only about the Messianic Era; but as for the World to Come – “No eye except Yours, O God, has seen [that which] He will do for one who awaits Him”. I don’t know if this sheds any light on your question, but I hope it helps some. Shalom! Grant

  3. by Dane Kappler

    On June 4, 2019

    Taken VERY loosely from Isaiah. So much so, I would say it’s not “written”.

    Thomas? Meh. If we had a reasonably extant copy of that document we could talk about it. I would guess if Paul were trying to make a point about the statement, he would be quoting a document that the Corinthians SHOULD find authoritative.

    I greatly appreciate the Talmud quote, but only have this problem: I Corinthians 2:9 says, “For it is written…”, and the Talmud wasn’t “written” then, only oral.

  4. by L. Grant Luton

    On June 4, 2019

    Dane, One of the things that rabbinic writers do (including Paul) is to translate passages of the Tanach with colorings and tweaks that make them fit more into what they are trying to teach. I know that this sounds unscholarly and even devious, but it is important to understand that they were writing to people who were either (A) so familiar with the Tanach that they immediately caught on to what the writer was trying to emphasize and exegete from the text. (See Hebrews 10:5.), or (B) people who were just starting their excursion into Scripture (as was probably the case with the Corinthians), in which case the writer would simplify and electively stress those parts of the passage that would best express the burden of what he wanted to communicate. Paul read, studied and understood the Hebrew Scriptures on many levels, so he drew out of the depths of this passage from Isaiah that which he wanted to emphasize. So, he could say “It is written”, even though he was translating a Hebrew passage into Greek and translating so as to selectively emphasize what he wanted to emphasize. Make sense? Shalom! Grant

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