Our special guest today is Rabbi Roberto Arbib, founder and Educational Director of Tel Aviv's Neve Schechter Center. Rabbi Arbib made Aliya in 1959 from Italy. In 1978 he began rabbinical studies and graduated from the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in 1991. He also holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University, and completed courses in Jewish Studies at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Since his ordination as a Masorti rabbi, Rabbi Arbib has served in numerous positions in Tel Aviv: Rabbi at Kehillat Sinai, founder of Midreshet Iyun for adult education, TALI school rabbi, co-founder of Derech Avraham interfaith group, and facilitator in bibliodrama.
This week's Torah Portion- Parashat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1)- begins with Pinchas being rewarded for his problematic act of killing the Israelite and his midianite paramour in the previous portion. A census is then conducted and God tells Moses how to divide the land between the tribes and people of Israel. The five daughters of Tzelafchad ask Moses to grant them the land of their father, who died with no sons, and God accepts their claim and adds it to the Torah's laws of inheritance. Moses then names Joshua as his successor. The parasha ends with a detailed list of daily offerings and of offerings brought on different holidays.