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Parsha Lab from Aleph Beta

A weekly Religion and Spirituality podcast
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Episodes of Parsha Lab from Aleph Beta

We’re now several days into the new normal... except that the new normal changes every day. In this episode, Rabbi Fohrman shares his thoughts on finding spiritual strength in the face of chaos. He begins by looking at a model in the Talmud of
On Thursday, the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County took the frightening step of closing all centers of community -- not only schools, but synagogues, and restaurants, too. Plus, people were asked to refrain from hosting shabbat meals, making
No, this isn't Parsha Lab...it's a new podcast from Aleph Beta. Presenting: Aleph Beta Quarantined. Every day, every hour, almost every minute, it feels like there is some breaking news about what is happening with COVID 19. Schools are cancel
You might have noticed that you haven’t heard a new episode in the last two weeks. Well, in this “mini” episode, we explain next steps for Parsha Lab. If you want to revisit past episodes of Parsha Lab, the episodes will continue to live on Ale
In the Torah’s final parsha, Moshe is preparing to take leave of the nation he has been so devoted all of these years. He gives them blessings before taking his final departure. He then ascends a mountain and is laid to rest in an unknown buria
In Parshat Ha’azinu, the Israelites receive a frightening prophetic “song” about their future failure to follow God’s will, and the punishment they receive as a result. When Moshe introduces this prophecy, he states that he hopes his speech wil
Parshat Vayeilech records Moses’ farewell speech on the last day of his life. In the opening of this speech, Moses reminds the people that he won’t be leading them into Israel and that Joshua will take over his position. But when you look close
Parshat Nitzavim states, “The hidden things are for God but the revealed things are for us,” which suggests perhaps that only God can punish for sins done in private. Could the parsha be alluding to a specific hidden sin in our history? Join Be
In Parshat Ki Tavo, the Israelites are told that when they enter the land they must publicly bless those who keep the commandments, and curse those who violate them. And they have to proclaim these blessings and curses on two mountains -- Moun
This week’s parsha includes the commandment to wipe out the memory of Amalek, the nation who attacked the Israelites just weeks after the Exodus from Egypt. It’s the kind of mitzvah that makes our skin crawl in the 21st century. Why would God c
In Parshat Shoftim, we're given a detailed list of instructions as to how to establish a justice system. Yet there are seemingly random topics woven into these instructions, like idolatry, and how to properly offer an animal to God. Is there a
In the beginning of Parshat Re’eh, the Torah warns not to follow other gods that "we don’t know." Idolatry is prohibited, so why does it matter whether we "know” these other gods or not? Join Beth Lesch and Ami Silver as they re-examine the tex
In Parshat Eikev, Moshe is gearing up the people to enter the land of Israel. He’s laying out conditions of what God will expect, and what they can expect in return. But strangely, peppered throughout Moshe's talk are echoes and references to
In Parshat Va’etchanan, the Israelites are forbidden from intermarrying with the Canaanite nations when they enter the land of Israel. While the rationale for this commandment may seem straightforward, its language echoes another story of a for
We know God wasn't pleased with the spies. Due to their actions, an entire generation would die in the desert, never entering the Promised Land. But what exactly did the spies do wrong? They reported that the land of Israel 'flows with milk and
In Parshat Matot-Masei, the Israelites are on the cusp of entering Israel, right on the Eastern side of the Jordan. But before they do, the tribes of Reuven and Gad ask Moshe to stay by the border, as the land is advantageous to raise their her
In Parshat Pinchas, we read about the daughters of Tzelaphchad, who sought to inherit their father’s land. God granted their request, and even codified it into law. But there’s something unique about this story — it’s strikingly similar to the
As the Israelites made their way towards the Promised Land, they encountered many nations -- Edomites, Canaanites, Amorites, Moabites -- who greeted them with less than open arms. But after seeing what God did to the Egyptians, wouldn't it have
In Parshat Chukat, we read the laws surrounding the Red Heifer — the rare cow whose ash is used to purify those who stood too close to a corpse. But what is the reason for this unique ritual? Why do we need the ash of a red cow to be purified?
In Parshat Korach, there’s a sudden rebellion against Moses and Aaron. Korach, the leader of the rebellion, argues that all Israelites are holy, not just Moses and Aaron. But where did his distrust of Israel’s leaders come from? Join Rabbi Fohr
In Parshat Shelach, we read the story of the spies who ventured to the land of Israel and brought back a false report to the Israelites. But there’s something very strange about their report. Aside from being inaccurate, it’s strikingly similar
In Parshat Beha’alotecha we complete the Mishkan story that started in the middle of Exodus and is completed all the way into this portion of Bamidbar. Finally, the children of Israel are ready to embark on their journey to the Holy Land with t
Parshat Naso introduces us to one of the oddest laws in the Torah, the laws of the Sotah -- a woman suspected of adultery by her husband. If the woman chooses to defend her honor, she is able to partake in an ancient ritual where the Kohen make
Parshat Bamidbar is the first Parsha in the book of Bamidbar. Strangely enough, the names our Sages give to the Books of Torah often don’t line up with the Hebrew. Case in point, the Sages call Bamidbar “Sefer Hapikudim,” or the Book of Numbers
This week’s double parsha, Behar-Bechokotai, focuses on the agricultural cycles of Shemittah and Yovel. Strangely enough, the language here carries echoes of some of the themes of last week’s parsha, and even seems to take us all the way back t
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