This Week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Beha’alotekha (Numbers 8:1-12:16)

I discuss the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Rabbs every Monday at 7pm PST on my live cam and on YouTube.

Watch the video here.

This week we study Parashat Beha’alotekha (Numbers 8:1-12:16).

Tonight’s show comes from The House of Rabbs.

* You can’t go before God dirty. The Torah repeatedly enjoins washing. One of the Torah’s major themes is elevating us from the animal-like. No bestiality.

* Standards vs. compassion in Num. 9:7. You never hear in Torah, that sounds uncompassionate, I’m going to drop the standards. You’re a victim. No more standards. We’re so quick to feel sorry for people that we drop obligations.

* There’s no talk in Torah about so long as you feel Jewish or act with Jewish values, you don’t need to do anything. The Torah is all about doing stuff and not doing stuff. Who would say, “I don’t have to show my wife I love her, I just have to appreciate her values”? No wife could endure being appreciated for her values but not for herself. You have to perform. (Dennis Prager)

* Numbers 9:14. One law for all residents of Israel. Debbie Wasserman Schultz complains that Republicans want to make being in the U.S. illegally a crime.

* Num. 12:1. Miriam and Aaron say that Moshe married a Cushite woman. What’s so wrong with that? Cushi mamzer (black bastard) is a common phrase in Israel.

* I want to talk about my hatred of women.

* I want to talk about my Anthony Weiner moment.

* Anthony Weiner used an unflattering sexual Jewish stereotype in private texting.

* I want to talk about how the rabbi and I are celebrating Los Angeles’s first gay, bisexual and transgender heritage month.

* At the end of his book Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, Dr. Patrick Carnes writes that we can help addicts by the “elimination of jokes that degrade people’s struggle with their sexual compulsivity, such as “flasher” jokes, dirty bookstore jokes…” So, are people who act out sexually creeps or are they just ill and in need of treatment?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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