About Dr. Bill Sutker

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So far Dr. Bill Sutker has created 35 blog entries.

Parashat Naso: Learning From Mistakes

Nothing is more difficult than admitting a mistake, but nothing is more human than making one. There are several places where the Torah deals with making mistakes and the merit of admitting one’s mistakes. In our parsha, we learn of the sota, a wife who is suspected of adultery. When the sota is accused, she […]

Vayechi 5783 – Foregiveness

The book of Genesis ends in parshah Vayechi with three significant scenes. First, Jacob blesses his grandsons, Efraim and Menashe. Second, Jacob blesses his 12 sons. Third, after the death of Jacob, the brothers asked Joseph to forgive them for selling him into slavery, which he does. Evidently, the brothers harbor the suspicion that Joseph […]

Nitzavim 5782 – All for One and One for All

This week’s torah portion begins: “Atem nitzavim hayom kulchem” which means: “You stand this day, all of you.” Moses is speaking to the Israelite community one last time before they enter the Promised Land and before he dies.

Moses prepares the Israelites to enter the covenant with God. He tells them that God’s covenant belongs to […]

Vaetchanan 5782 – The Transition to Moshe Rabbeinu

If we had to choose only one Torah portion to summarize the entire Torah, which would it be? We could make arguments in favor of the various portions, but we would have to consider Parashah Vaetchanan as a strong contender. In this week’s parashah, we find a compilation of the Torah’s “greatest hits,” both in […]

Chukat 5782 – What About Miriam

Parsha Chukat is about mortality. After describing the confusing purification rite of the Red Heifer, we skip ahead 38 years. We are hit with three successive tragedies: Miriam dies, Moses is given a death sentence and is banned from the Promised Land and Aaron dies. We are told virtually nothing regarding the death of Miriam. […]

Bechuotai 5782 – The Power of the Bad

The book of Vayikra draws to a close by outlining the blessings that will follow the Israelites if they are faithful to their covenant with God. Then it describes a much longer series of curses, the tochechah, that will befall them if they are not faithful. The general principle is clear. In biblical times, the […]

Lech Lecha 5783 – Reinventing Yourself

This week’s Torah portion, Lech Lecha, is about the lifelong process of figuring out who we are and who we want to be.

In the beginning of the parshah, God speaks for the first time to Abraham.  The parshah begins with Lech lecha,” go for yourself, from your land, from the place where you were born […]

Metzorah 5782 – The Search for Meaning

There are probably no Torah parashahs as widely misunderstood as Tazria and Metzorah. Although I had a lot of trouble trying to understand them, some commentators feel this part of the Torah may well be the most relevant, poignant, and emotionally powerful of the entire year. These parshiot are devoted entirely to the subject of […]

Tetzaveh 5782 – Clothes Make the Priest

In parshah Tetzaveh, God commands Moses:” Have Aaron and his sons serve me as priests. Make for them sacred garments using fine linen, gold, blue, purple and scarlet yarns. Make for them a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a fringed tunic, a headdress, and a sash. These garments must be worn when officiating in my […]

Va’era 5782 – Moses’ Self-Doubt

In this week’s parshah, God tells Moses that he wants him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom. Moses answered God’s call.  But whether out of apprehension or humility, he quickly added several excuses for not immediately doing what God asked. First, he says: “I am not good enough.”  He points […]