Portions Library

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

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The Priestly Blessing

To this day, the sons of Aaron lift their hands over the worshipers in the synagogue service while they utter the words, “The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

Confession and Repentance

A sinner should turn back from his sin, and should confess his misdeed before God as Scripture says, “When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind, acting unfaithfully against the LORD, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess his sins which he has committed” (Numbers 5:6-7). This means an avowal in words before the blessed God.

Erasing God's Name

In this portion, why does the Torah command the priest to erase the curse from the scroll into the water? God's holy Name appears twice in the curse. The sages teach that God is so concerned for peace between a husband and wife that He is even willing for His own Name to be erased to bring it about (Sifre 17).

Confession, Repentance, Restitution

When we sin against another person, causing them some loss, we must confess the sin, but we must also prove our repentance by making restitution. In most cases our restitution should include a sincere confession and apology to the individual we have wronged. A person must seek his neighbor’s forgiveness before seeking God’s.