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Weekly Portion


Genesis

Bereshit - The story of creation is superfluous to the religious because it contains no commandments. We also discuss the Zohar's erroneous claim that the sun does not illuminate on its own and mistaken calculations of the coming of the Messiah.

Noah - The Scriptural calendar is solar and not lunar.

Lech Lecha - Verses in the Torah were written at a later date.

Vayera - The Sages, on their own authority, corrected verses of the Scriptures.

Chaye Sarah - Sages interpret words in any way they imagine is best.

Toldot - Distortions which occurred in the text of the Torah "from Sinai".

Vayetze - G-d changes His laws in keeping with the times.

Vayishlach - Scriptural verses written after Sinai.

Vayeshev - Our rabbis do not rely upon words of Aggadah.

Miketz - Our Sages did not investigate history and chronology.

Vayigash - Testimony of inaccuracies in the words of the Scriptures and of the Sages.

Vayechi - Jacob's prophecies of the End of Days did not come true.

Exodus

Shemot - Changes in the script and language of the Torah since Sinai.

Vaera - Divine revelation at Sinai was not a physical revelation.

Bo - The Sages created new laws and set them a tradition received from Moses at Sinai.

Beshalach - Measurements of length and breadth, written in the Torah, are re-evaluated in each generation by the Sages.

Yitro - The oral story of the Revelation at Sinai did not get passed down through the generations.

Mishpatim - Chazal treated the Scriptural text as their own; a comparison of Torah laws and the laws of Hammurabi.

Teruma - The sages of the generation determine what is holy and about the Holy Temple.

Tetzave - The sacrifices and the laws are determined anew in each and every generation.

Ki Tisa - There is no consistency and order in the method by which our sages learn.

Vayakhel - Actions forbidden on the Sabbath were determined by the Sages and are not even hinted at in the Torah.

Pekudey - The Scriptural text goes on at length about inanities and treats important topics summarily.

Leviticus

Vayikra - The Torah repeats stories and confuses our Sages.

Tzav - Sections of the Torah are written out of the order of occurrence.

Shemini - The Sages learned the identify of the pure and impure birds without actually seeing them.

Tazria - Our rabbis learn about the natural world from texts and not from the facts of life.

Metzora - A woman's obligation to immerse in water after menstruation is not mentioned in the Written Torah.

Acharei Mot - Ritual slaughter, not mentioned in the Written Torah, causes great anguish to animals.

Kedoshim - The Torah repeats its warnings and confuses those who interpret it.

Emor - Discrimination against women and the disabled amongst cohanim.

Introduction

The weekly portions (each of approximately four chapters) are a way of dividing the Pentateuch over the weeks of the year so the cycle of reading the Torah in the synagogue will be completed over one full year. We have chosen one or two topics from each portion. The guiding line of our critique will be three focal topics: The period in which the Scriptures were written and changes in the text of the Scriptures, internal contradictions and unnecessary repetitions in the Scriptural text, and the gap between the Scriptural text and its interpretation by Chazal. Reading these essays leads to the conclusion that the Oral Torah is a new teaching which replaces the Scriptural text.

Behar - The start of the year in the Scriptural era was in Nissan and during the Second Temple era it was changed to Tishrei.

Bechukotai - The curses written in the Torah are not from G-d.

Numbers

Bemidbar - The Divine teachings as a source for superstition.

Naso - The laws of the Sages are different from the laws of the Written Torah.

Beha'alotcha - The Sages move verses from their original locations in the Torah.

Shelach - Rabbis forbid reading critical studies of the Holy Writ.

Korach - The Torah permits killing people to consecrate them to G-d.

Chukat - The division between idolatry and the worship of G-d are a distinction arbitrarily set by the Sages.

Balak - Halacha permits the killing of gentiles and apostates.

Pinchas - A daughter is the property of her father, according to the Torah.

Matot - One is permitted to kill a gentile, according to the Torah and Halacha.

Masaey - The Torah's unnecessary listing of journeys.

Deuteronomy

Devarim - Ibn Ezra: criticism in the face of tradition.

Vaetchanan - Sages add and subtract commandments.

Ekev - The World to Come: instead of reward in this world.

Re'eh - The laws of the Torah and democratic values.

Shoftim - Man determines the 'Divine laws'.

Ki Tetze - Halacha was ruled based on a mistaken view of reality.

Ki Tavo - The curses and the blessings in the Torah are not prophecies for the future.

Nitzavim - Interpretation of the prophet after the fact.

Vayelech - The author of the Torah and the books of Moses.

Haazinu - The ways of Divine supervision are hidden from the sages.

V'Zot HaBracha - Sections of the Torah were written after the era of Moses.