A Summary of the Torah

A description of the highlights of the Torah, according to the divisions of the weekly portions.

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Pekudei (38:21-40:38) The cloud of glory covers the completed tabernacle as the Israelites stand in the distance.


The priestly code; the rules pertaining to sacrifices, diet, and morality; and the Land of Israel and festivals are discussed.

Weekly Portions

Vayikra (1:1-5:26) God reveals the sacrificial laws.

Tzav (6:1-8:36) Moses anoints Aaron and his sons as priests.

Shemini (9:1-11:47) Laws describing kosher and nonkosher animals are enumerated.

Tazria (12:1-13:59) Cleanliness and uncleanliness are defined in relation to childbirth and leprosy.

Metzora (14:1-15:33) The laws for the purification of the leper after he has healed are discussed.

Ahare Mot (16:1-18:30) Aaron's sons die. Aaron chooses by lot a goat and a scapegoat.

Kedoshim (19:1-20:27) More laws are set forth, including, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Emor (21:1-24:23) Festival seasons are described in detail.

B'har (25:1-26:2) The sabbatical and jubilee years are discussed.

B'hukotai (26:3-27:34) The punishment for rejecting God’s cov­enant is discussed.


The Census. More statutes and laws. Adventures of the Hebrews en route to Canaan through the desert.

Weekly Portions

B'midbar (1:1-4:20) Description of the Israelites' encampments during their journeys through the desert.

Naso (4:21-7:89) Regulations concerning Nazirites and the three­fold priestly benediction.

B'ha'alotekha (8:1-12:16) Kindling of the menorah. Seventy elders are delegated to serve under Moses.

Shelah (13:1-15:41) Twelve spies are dispatched to survey the land of Canaan. Two of the spies return with a positive report.

Korah (16:1-18:32) Korach refuses to accept the leadership of Moses and Aaron. He and his assembly are killed by an earthquake.

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Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs

Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs is the spiritual leader of Temple Sholom in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He has served as the publications committee chairperson of the Rabbinical Assembly.