Inspiration Through Torah in 5776: Shemini

abihuThis week, we are reading the portion Shemini, in which two sons of Aaron offer up strange fire and are subsequently slain by the Spirit of Hashem for doing so. We also are given a list of clean and unclean animals for human consumption. You can read about it here: Shemini – Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47.

You may decide to read the whole portion in one sitting or you might decide to do the FULL KRIYAH which breaks up the parsha so that you can pace yourself and concentrate on a smaller section each day.

This week, the readings for the Torah portion for each day of the week will be as follows:

1: 9:1-16 (16 p’sukim)

2: 9:17-23 (7 p’sukim)

3: 9:24-10:11 (12 p’sukim)

4: 10:12-15 (4 p’sukim)

5: 10:16-20 (5 p’sukim)

6: 11:1-32 (32 p’sukim)

7: 11:33-47 (15 p’sukim)

The reading for the haftarah, if you decide to read it in addition to the Torah portion, is II Samuel 6:1 – 7:17.

Continue to journal this week, writing down your thoughts, themes, and Bible verses that come to mind for the individual days, and/or week. If you’d like to focus on personal character development with a larger community, see “Mussar” below the Torah study materials.

Torah Study Materials

Reading materials

Torah Portion Study Guides from Tony Robinson

The Creation Gospel Torah Portions: Vayikra by Dr. Hollisa Alewine


The Parsha Experiment from the AlephBeta team on this week’s parsha.

Torah teachings (from the Torah cycle 5772) by L. Grant Luton

Mussar (Personal Character Development)

This week, we will focus on the middah (character trait) of akshevut (stubbornness). I have always struggled with stubbornness. In the past, this has led me to do things that were very detrimental and could have been avoided. My parents always said that I had a strong will, but that if I would just use it for the right things, no one would be able to stop me, so I now see the two sides to stubbornness. One side is that it can lead one to make very bad decisions if we insist on our own way, and the other side is that if we can surrender our own will and adopt the will that G-d has for us, no one and no thing will be able to stand in our way or stop us from completing our godly mission.

Note: Fill out a 4×6 card; at the top write Akshevut (Stubbornness). Under the trait list the suggested practices. Put this card in a prominent place to help you walk out this virtue in your day to day life. (Suggested practices come from the lecture below):

  • Increase your fear of heaven: “The fear of the L-RD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” Proverbs 8:13
  • 1. Analyze feelings and reactions of being uncooperative. 2. Ask what is the intelligent thing to do? 3. Ask yourself am I being selfish/inconsiderate? 4. Try to be objective. 5. Remember: What is truly important is what is right, not who is right.
  • Be flexible.
  • Convert stubbornness into perseverance!

You might also benefit from this teaching:


A strong will can be your biggest ally or your worst enemy. If you walk after the desire of your own heart, it will only lead to brokenness and hardships; if, however, you cling to that which G-d has said is good, no one and no thing will be able to stop you from achieving His will for your life.

Blessings and Shalom for a good week,