Portions Library

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

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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).

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.

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 Least of the Commandments

Some commandments of the Torah are weightier than others, but Yeshua teaches that a person should be scrupulous to observe even the least of the commandments. "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19).

A Glutton and a Drunkard

The Torah says that if a son refuses to heed his parents and if he indulges in a life of lasciviousness, the parents should bring him to the elders of the city and have him tried and stoned. The Torah lists five qualifications. The son must be stubborn, rebellious, disobedient, a glutton, and a drunkard. 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 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.