Table Of Contents of the “Torah Mastery” (Chumash) Course

Lesson 1

a) A recitation of the verses with translation.
b) A brief background to the Book of Genesis so that this lesson can be understood in the proper context.
c) The Ramban’s introduction to the book of Exodus.
d) Rashi script – review of alef, presentation of shin, with an exercise in the Mikraot Gedolot.
e) The Chumash and Rashi (verse 1) from a square print.
f) A comparison of this verse with Genesis chapter 46 verse 8.

Lesson 2

a) A recitation of the verses with translation.
b) Rashi Script – Review alef and shin, and add tzadi.
c) Rashi script exercise from the Mikraot Gedolot.
d) The Chumash and Rashi (verse 5) from a square print.
e) Two explanations of Rashi from the super-commentaries.
f) A discussion about learning with a partner.

Lesson 3

a) A recitation of the verses with translation.
b) Rashi Script – Review alef, shin, and tzadi, and we added a bet.
c) Rashi script exercise from the Mikraot Gedolot.
d) The Chumash and Rashi (verse 7) from a square print.
e) Two explanations of Rashi from the super-commentaries.

Lesson 4

a) A recitation of the verses with translation and with Rashi.
b) Rashi Script – Review alef, shin, tzadi, and bet, and we added the mem sofit vs. samach.
c) Rashi script exercise from the Mikraot Gedolot.
d) Rashi (verse 10) on “Hava” and “Nitchakma Lo”.
e) On the latter, I brought the Mizrachi and the Nachalat Yaakov themselves.

Lesson 5

a) A recitation of the verse with translation, a little grammer, and with Rashi.
b) Rashi Script – Review alef, shin, tzadi, and bet, mem sofit and samach, and we added zayin and tzadi sofit.
c) Rashi script exercise from the Mikraot Gedolot.
d) Rashi (verse 11) on “Meeseem” (Mizrachi), “Le’ma’an” (Siftei Chachamim), “Arai Miskenot” Ketargumo – Klalei Rashi.
e) Rashi on “Alav” with the Mizrachi and Gur Aryeh.

Lesson 6

a) A recitation of the verse with translation, a little grammer, and with Rashi.
b) Rashi Script – Review everything.
c) Rashi script exercise from Rashi on the Talmud.
d) Rashi (verse 12) on “Ve’Ka’asher Ye’anu Oto” (Siftei Chachamim), “Kain Yirbeh” (Siftei Chachamim), “Vayakutzu” (Siftei Chachamim, Mizrachi).

Lesson 7

a) A recitation of the verse with translation, a little grammer, and with Rashi.
b) Rashi Script – Review everything.
c) Rashi script exercise from Rashi on the Talmud, with guidance how to read without vowels.
d) Rashi (verse 13) on “Befarech” (Mizrachi, Yalkut Shimoni).

Lesson 8

a) A recitation of the verse with translation, a little grammer, and with Rashi.
b) Rashi script exercise from Rashi on the Talmud, with emphasis on how to read without vowels.
c) A treatment of the first Rashi, a heavy-duty grammar Rashi, on that Biblical Hebrew has the flexibility that the same thought can be bonefiedly expressed in two different verb forms. With the Siftei Chachamim and the Mizrachi.

Lesson 9

a) A recitation of the verse with translation, a little grammer, and with Rashi.
b) Rashi script exercise from Rashi on the Talmud, with emphasis on how to read without vowels.
c) A treatment of the first Rashi: 1) Shifra-Puah, 2) Eem Ben Hu. With the Siftei Chachamim and the Mizrachi, and a little Nachlat Yaacov and Maskil Le’David.

Lesson 10

a) Rashi on verse 17.
b) Rashi script exercise from Rashi on the Talmud, with emphasis on how to read without vowels, and verb forms, Pa’al present tense.
c) Ramban on verse 10.

Lesson 11

a) Recitation of verses 18-19, with Rashi on verse 19.
b) Practicing verb forms, Pa’al present tense and past tense. Rashi script exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Siftei Chachamim on Rashi, we looked in to the source where he got it from, the Mizrachi, we then looked in to the source where *he* got it from, the Medrash. We raised a difficulty, and found a Maskil LeDavid in order to answer it.

Lesson 12

a) Recitation of verse 20, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we reviewed Pa’al present tense and past tense, and started Pi’el present tense. Rashi script exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Mizrachi on Rashi who explained that the issue of whether these words like Va’yaitev are two letter roots or three letter roots, is a dispute amongst the medieval commentaries.

Lesson 13

a) Recitation of verses 21-22, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we reviewed Pa’al present tense and past tense, and started Pi’el present tense, and then went on to Pi’el past tense. Rashi script exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Siftei Chachamim on Rashi who brought a difficulty on our posuk that “everyone” asks, and gives an answer.
d) We saw the Ohr Hachaim on verse 20, reconciling a difficulty with Rashi’s interpretation.

Lesson 14

a) Recitation of verse 1, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we reviewed Pa’al present tense and past tense, and Pi’el present tense and past tense. And then we learned Hif’il present tense. Rashi script exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Siftei Chachamim and the Mizrachi on Rashi who explain where Rashi is coming from when he states that this is their second marriage, and where Rashi gets this that Yocheved was transformed into a young woman.
d) We saw a beautiful Maskil LeDavid, who reconciled the difficulties with the above points.

Lesson 15

a) Recitation of verse 1, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we reviewed Pa’al present tense and past tense, and Pi’el present tense and past tense, and Hif’il present tense. And then we learned Hif’il past tense. Rashi script exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Siftei Chachamim and the Mizrachi on Rashi, and the Ramban who explain why the posuk implies that the care that Yocheved gave to Moshe was because she saw that he was good.
d) We saw a beautiful Ohr Hachaim, gave his opinion on what is the pshat, the simple rendering of the text.

Lesson 16

a) Recitation of verse 3, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we reviewed Pa’al present tense and past tense, and Pi’el present tense and past tense, and then we learned Hif’il past tense. Rashi script exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels. It was a difficult lesson, and I plan on making changes in Lesson 17
c) On Rashi “Lo Yachla” We saw the Mizrachi on Rashi, and a fascinating Maskil Ledavid.
d) On Rashi “Bachaimar U’bezefet” we saw the Mizrachi on the comparison between this taiva and Noach’s taiva, and a rendering of the words of Rashi back in the parsha of Noach.

Lesson 17

a) Recitation of verse 4-5, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we went onward learning verb forms, in particular future tense. Text exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Ramban on Rashi “sarais hamikra ufarshaihu” where the Ramban added the necessary support to the way Rashi learns, and then suggests two ways which you don’t have to say Sarais.
d) We saw the Ohr Hachaim on ve’na’aroteha holchot, who explains that the posuk is coming to say the praise of Batya Bat Pharoah.

Lesson 18

a) Recitation of verse 6, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we went onward learning verb forms, in particular future tense. Text exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Ramban on Rashi who rejected Rashi’s pshat on the basis of the gemara, and on the basis of logic.
d) We saw the Mizrachi who reconciled Rashi’s pshat, and explained that even though Rabi Yehuda didn’t defend himself Rabi Nechemya’s attack, that doesn’t mean that the gemara can’t hold that way, also the Mizrachi disagreed with the Ramban on how to learn up the Ibn Ezra’s pshat, and left it is a scathing bewilderment why the Ramban rejected Rashi’s pshat.

Lesson 19

a) Recitation of verse 7-9, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we went onward learning verb forms, in particular future tense. Text exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Mizrachi on Rashi on the Psukim.
d) We saw the Ohr Hachaim on verse 6, VaTiraihu.

Lesson 20

a) Recitation of verse 10, with Rashi.
b) Practicing verb forms, we went onward learning verb forms, in particular hitpa’el. Text exercise emphasizing how to read without vowels.
c) We saw the Mizrachi on Rashi on the Pasuk.
d) We saw the Ohr Hachaim on verse 10, VaTikra Shemo.

Lesson 21

a) Recitation of verses 11-12, with Rashi.
b) Vayigdal Moshe – Nachlat Yaacov, Maskil Ledavid
c) Vayar Besivlotam – Mizrachi, Shmot Raba
d) Eish Mitzri – Siftei Chachamim gimel and daled, Mizrachi
e) Makeh Eish Ivri – Siftei Chachamim who brought the paradox of these verses, but didn’t resolve satisfactorily imho.
f) Maskil LeDavid who added a different dimension, and gave an opening to resolving the paradox.

Lesson 22

a) Recitation of verse 13, with Rashi.
b) Mizrachi on Rashi. We then saw the Nachalat Yaacov who disagreed with the Mizrachi, and learned the whole verse more in line with the words of the Talmudic sages in the Medrash and in the Talmud.

Lesson 23

a) Recitation of verse 14, with Rashi.
b) Mizrachi on Rashi who asked three questions on the Medrash that Rashi bases himself on. We then saw the Gur Aryeh who answers these questions.

I merited through our learning together to say an original idea, that according to the fundamental that the Gur Aryeh laid down when he commented on the Ramban’s difficulty and answer, that one can’t invoke the Divine Name without doing some sort of action down here, that this may be the basis why the Torah expressed Itself with “Vayach” et haMitzri, he struck the Egyption, and only in the next verse it becomes revealed in the Medrash that Moshe killed him with the Name of the A-lmighty, and even where we learn it from is questionable and not clear. That according the fundamental brought by the Maharal that Moshe had to do something, that is why it said Vayach.

Lesson 24

a) Recitation of verse 15, with Rashi.
b) Mizrachi on Rashi.
c) Then we went back to verse 14 and saw two pieces from Nachalat Yaacov over there, one on the “dilitorim” refers to those who trangress the sin of Lashon Harah, not informing per se, and the second asking the issue that if the exile was already decreed and foretold in the covenant of Brit Bain Habetarim, then what was the amazement of Moshe, “What did Israel sin…”

Lesson 25

a) Recitation of verse 16-17, with Rashi.
b) Mizrachi on Rashi.The Mizrachi asked on Rashi why he didn’t translate cohen as priest.
c) Then we saw the Nachlat Yaacov who commented that the Mizrachi forgot a Rashi, and gave his own interpretation when cohen means priest and when it means greatness.
d) Having what seems to be a contradiction in Rashi, we tried to resolve it.
e) Gur Aryeh – How can Yitro be called great when he was excommunicated?
f) I wanted to show you a Be’er Basadeh who criticized the Nachlat Yaacov’s criticism, and gave his own interpretation when cohen means priest and when not, but there wasn’t time. You can see it here:

http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=22552&st=&pgnum=171

Lesson 26

a) Recitation of verse 18-20, with Rashi.
b) Mizrachi on Rashi.The Mizrachi explained that the source of Rashi that the water rose in Moshe’s direction is from the Medrash, who learns it out from the fact that the verse expresses itself “tzon” and not “tzonainu”, and regarding the drawing of the water the verse says that Moshe drew “dalo dala lanu”, “he drew for us”. However, the Mizrachi was left with a question, because the very same Medrash itself asks what do we do with the (extra) word “lanu”, and then goes and learns something else out from it. Therefore it would seem that it can’t be a source that Moshe didn’t draw water for the shepherds’ sheep also.
c) We saw a Maskil LeDavid who asked on Rashi’s words that Yitro understood from his daughters’ story that Moshe was a descendent of Yaacov, why does Rashi bring this, what is it connected to the simple understanding of the verse? And he answers this question.

Lesson 27

a) Recitation of verse 21-22, with Rashi.
b) Maskil LeDavid on Rashi. A grammatical piece. He explained first of all why Rashi had to bring the Medrash, what was weak about the first pshat. Then he explained that VaYo’el is Hif’il according to both ways that Rashi learns, and explained the conjugation. Then he asked why shouldn’t the verb be in the Pa’al form as it’s not causative in nature. And he answered two answers, either that it is the way of the Torah to do that sometimes, to express in Hif’il that which really by definition should be Pa’al. And secondly, he presented a way to learn our posuk actually causative, but said that it is stretched, and therefore the better way of learning is the first way.

Lesson 28

a) Recitation of verse 23-25, with Rashi.
b) We learned the Mizrachi who explained first of all how it can be that the Torah verse can express itself that king died, if he really didn’t die, only because a leper. Then the Mizrachi explained what Rashi saw in the verse that he explained the “simple understanding” with this Medrash. But then he asked a question which he didn’t answer, that the Medrash doesn’t fit with the words of the verse, “min ha’avodah”.
c) Then we learned a Maskil LeDavid who suggests his own original suggestion to answer the question.

Lesson 29

a) Recitation of verse 23-25, with Rashi.
b) We learned the pieces of Ramban on these verses.

Lesson 30

a) Recitation of verses 1-2, with Rashi.
b) We noted that on the first Rashi, achar hamidbar, in order to distance himself from gezel, from stealing, none of the major super-commentaries say anything. Which implies that there is nothing at all difficult about the Rashi, which, imho, is something that one should notice.
c) Then we learned a Mizrachi who asked why Rashi brought this Medrash and not that Medrash, and he answered, if I understand him correctly, that the Medrash that Rashi brought more brings out the simple understanding of the text.
d) Then in the next Mizrachi we saw that the comparison of the word ookal to oobad and lookach is only from the standpoint of the binyan, but in terms of tense, those examples are in past tense whereas oochal is in present tense.
e) Then we say a Gur Aryeh, who spoke out what the meaning of the verse that Rashi quotes is, “I am with him in his suffering”.
f) And then finally we saw a Ramban who dealt with the issue that at the beginning the verse speaks in terms of the angel of G-d and afterwards about G-d Himself.

Lesson 31

a) Recitation of verse 3-5, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Ramban who discusses the issue of the obvious change in meaning of the word ba’air.
c) The next Ramban discussed that Moshe had not as of these verses reached his high level of prophecy for which he is destined.
d) Then the next Ramban equates the situation of the revelation of the bush to when the Torah was given to Yisrael, in that when the Divine Presence descended on Mount Sinai, that the whole mountain was deemed steeped in holiness.
e) Then we saw the Ohr Hachaim who questioned the order why it was that G-d commanded Don’t come any nearer before Take off your shoes, and not the opposite, and he discussed the difference between positive commandments and negative commandments.

Lesson 32

a) Recitation of verse 6-9, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Ohr Hachaim who gives many different explanations for the two “seeings”, Ra’oh Ra’iti, and an examination what was the verse trying to emphasize with “who were in Egypt”.
c) Also the next piece of the Ohr Hachaim, his explanation of why G-d sent Moshe in to redeem Bnei Yisrael a year before they were supposed to come out.

Lesson 33

a) Recitation of verse 10-11, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Mizrachi who explained what Rashi saw that he explained the verse as an answer to an unasked question, “Ve’Eem Tomar…”.
c) Then we saw a piece from the Ohr Hachaim not exactly on this point, but with which we used in order to explain why the Torah had to express itself that way, as a verse with two parts, with an answer to an unasked question.
d) Continuing in the Mizrachi, we saw his explanation on Rashi’s commentary of the two questions of Moshe.
e) And then a piece from the Ohr Hachaim who gave a nice explanation how Moshe could have a doubt about the worthiness of Bnei Yisrael to leave Egypt.

Lesson 34

a) Recitation of verse 12, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Mizrachi who pointed out different uses for the phrase “ani eheyeh imach” that G-d says. Here it is being used in the sense that we will be partners and do it together, whereas in other places, like with Gidon, it is used in the sense that I will help you. However, later the Mizrachi points out that in the continuation of Rashi he does seem to understand the phrase here the same as it is used with Gidon.
c) In the next piece the Mizrachi asks on Rashi that the Torah only says that the sign that G-d gave was in order to take away any doubt that it is G-d who is sending Moshe, not that he wouldn’t be harmed like Rashi adds. And the Mizrachi continues to explain other points in Rashi.

Lesson 35

a) Recitation of verse 13-14, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Ramban who discusses the issue of what was the request of Moshe, and what was G-d’s answer. Included was a discussion of the idea of the names of G-d, and His Attributes.
c) Then we saw a Gur Aryeh on that which Rashi wrote on “Yafeh Amartah”, which related to the question how can a flesh and blood man criticize the Almight’y in such a way. And he wrote that really the intention of G-d was that if Yisrael will indeed ask him what is G-d’s name, then Moshe must answer, just that He gave him advice to say it in a way that they will not ask.

Lesson 36

a) Recitation of verse 15-16, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Mizrachi who explained more at length the idea of G-d’s name being “hidden” (from pronunciation), and only pronounced with a “Kinuy”. Also in Rashi about the word “zeh” and why Rashi said what he said that “zeh zichri” implies that G-d taught Moshe the Kinuy, how the name is to be pronounced.
c) After that we saw a Medrash about the name “Ehekeh”, which really serves as an introduction to the understanding of all of G-d’s Names, and to the subject of Kabalah.

Lesson 38

a) Recitation of verse 19-20, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Ramban, who after bringing Rashi’s first explanation of “velo beyad chazaka”, went on to present a much simpler explanation which fits much better with the text.
c) Then we saw, on the second explanation of Rashi in the name of Rebi Yaacov b”r Menachem, a dispute between the Mizrachi and the Gur Aryeh on how to explain this Rashi, and in particular what Rashi means when he connects the two verses.

Lesson 40

a) Recitation of verses 1-3, with Rashi.
b) We saw first the Be’er Hetaiv who points out that the drash and the pshat that Rashi points out, are not talking about the same thing, and therefore are not at odds with one another. The drash is relating to why ma zeh is written as one word, and the pshat relates to a different point, what was G-d’s question “what is that in your hand,” He didn’t know?!?
b) Then we saw the Ramban who discusses the issue of how can Moshe say to G-d “they are not going to listen to me” when G-d already told him that they ARE going to listen to him.

Lesson 41

a) Recitation of verses 4-5, with Rashi.
b) We saw three independent pieces: The Maskil LeDavid asked that the posuk that Rashi brought regarding Lot came much earlier than our posuk, why didn’t Rashi say there that the word chizuk with a bet afterwards means to hold and not to strengthen and he answered that there is no real difference in understanding over there in Braisheet, no reason that would force Rashi, so to speak, to have to say something.
c) The Ohr Hachaim wrote that the verses say many times the G-d of your fathers, in order to hint that this was indeed the purpose of the sign to display that G-d appeared to Moshe, because for a person to able to have control of a snake with all that it symbolizes, in particular I added by holding it by the tail, and not by the neck, can only be for someone to whom appeared the G-d of their fathers.
d) And we saw the Ramban who discussed why it was that G-d found it necessary/appropriate to have Moshe do the first two signs now at Har Sinai, as opposed to waiting till he was in front of the Bnei Yisrael.

Lesson 42

a) Recitation of verses 6-8, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Mizrachi who explains where Rashi takes it that a good happening comes faster than a bad happening, and then the next piece explaining the necessity of Rashi to explain the significance that Moshe will explain to Bnei Yisrael that he was punished for speaking lashon harah on them, in order to understand how the second sign is much stronger, much more convincing, than the first sign. And the Mizrachi leaves as an open question that according to that, he doesn’t understand how the third sign, of the water turning into blood, is even a stronger sign than the two first signs.
c) Then we saw a Nachlat Yaacov who first gave a very nice answer to the question by explaining that who says that the first two signs Moshe did in front of Bnei Yisrael, maybe not, and that was the strength of the third sign that they actually saw it, and not just heard about it. However he proves that this is not true, and instead answers that the strength of the third sign was that the blood remained blood, as opposed to the first to signs, that the change changed back again the way it was.
d) I added a Chizkuni that writes that the significance of that which in the third sign the blood remained blood, is that any mayseh kishuf, black magic, which by the way is forbidden by the Torah, has no permanence, rather it HAS to return to the way it was before. Therefore the third sign is more a proof that it was an act of G-d.
e) In the end I told the story of Rabbi Daniel Frisch zatzal, the author of the commentary Matok MeDvash on the Zohar, when he was sick he traveled to the far east for a treatment, but when he discovered that the treatment was done by kishuf he refused treatment, and returned to Israel where he later passed away. That according to this Chizkuni that we learned in our lesson, Rabbi Frisch didn’t really have much to gain if he would have transgressed the Torah’s command, only a temporary relief.

Lesson 44

a) Recitation of verses 10-12, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Ramban who brought a simpler understanding in verse 10, regarding being hard of speech from his youth.
c) Then we say a Maskil LeDavid who explained why Rashi chose as the simple reading of the text the explanation of the Medrash Tanchuma, as opposed to the Medrash Rabba which others quote as being simpler. The Maskil LeDavid shows both in the text and also in the content why the Tanchuma is more to the point, so to speak.

Lesson 45

a) Recitation of verse 13-14, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Ramban who brought two other explanations to the verse, send by the hand of him who you will send, over and above Rashi’s two explanations. The Ramban brought Onklus, which he explained, and his own explanation of pshat which seems to him.
c) Then we saw a piece from the Ohr Hachaim, who gave another explanation of result of G-d’s anger besides what Rashi brought from the Gemara.

Lesson 47

a) Recitation of verse 18-19, with Rashi.
b) We saw a fascinating Gur Aryeh, Maharal, on that which the Sages say that poor people are considered dead, and the verse in Proverbs that he who hates presents will live.

Lesson 52

a) Recitation of verse 25-26, with Rashi.
b) We saw the Mizrachi who asked a number of questions centering around Rashi’s words in verse 26, “az haivina”, then Tzipora understood… where the Mizrachi attempts to pinpoint what it was that Tzipora originally understood, and what changed when the attacking angel left Moshe. All of the ways are seemingly fraught with difficulties.
c) The Maskil LeDavid offered a resolution that Tzipora knew from the beginning that the matter of the angel had to do with the circumcision, but didn’t know whether he was coming to punish for the (lack of) circumcising, or whether he was hinting at a certain merit in the circumcision.
d) Then we saw the Be’er HaTorah who offered a different resolution, that Tzipora understood from the beginning that according to Rashi the angel was coming to punish for the negligence in circumcision, just that she didn’t know whether it was ONLY for the circumcision, or perhaps it was for something else also.
e) The Be’er HaTorah also brought a Rabainu Bechaya who learned that the give and take between the angel and Tzipora was regarding the two steps of the brit mila, circumcision and p’riah, and used that in another way to resolve the words of Rashi.

2 Responses to TOC

  1. Christine Parker on March 1, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Thank you for offering these lessons for free. I look forward to it.

    • Boruch Rappaport on March 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Enjoy, Christine, if anything is not clear please let me know.

      It shouldn’t be misunderstood, I am not putting everything that you see here in this table of contents into the email course, the email course is an outline and a path how you can get there yourself. I break down the steps and show you how to tackle each one, very valuable content, but I don’t take you by the hand and walk you along. That I do in my membership course which you can see here on the site by clicking “Chumash Course” on the navigation bar.

      What you see here in the TOC are the contents of my membership course, which is, well, not free.

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