Parsha Audio Notes by Rafi Metz

During my years of Library work, like most library workers, earbud audio was a way of life. As a lover of Torah study, I began recording my morning study notes to listen to at work. The audios in this collection took several Torah cycles, i.e. years, to compile. Some of the earlier recordings have some rough audio or odd noises. Sometimes twittering birds on my porch can be heard in the background. Most of the recordings are patched together from multiple years of study.

My goal in the audios is to avoid inserting my own interpretations or opinions, and to focus entirely on the details of the parsha, famous midrashim, and context within the entire sefer. I read from the notes in multiple sources [noted], and summarize shiurim I've heard, mostly from Rabbi Hoffman or Rabbi Yitzach Ginsburgh of Gal Einai. Each recording also contains a summary of the haftarah, lists the notable gematriot, and mentions the parts of the davening that appear in the parsha.

The recordings have been "done" since about 2011, and only now are they online - a humble offering to the world with grateful acknowledgement to all of my teachers, and apologies for errors that I'm sure are lurking in there somewhere.

There may be repeated material on some of these audios. The patchwork nature of their creation made it so that a specific 30 second swatch of sound - one short paragraph for example - may have gotten pasted into multiple spots, and it's crazy-making to try to ferret out whether I really heard those words before or am just imagining it, so some are left in. In the old time spirit of "repetition is good," I offer this:

"Eyno domeh shoneh pirko meah pa'amim l'shoneh pirko meah v'achat"
Hillel - Chagigah 9b2

There is no comparison between one who recites their passage one hundred times, and one who recites it one hundred and one times."

Repetition is a Good Thing.

Here is a Timeline of Jewish History.

Here are my study notes from Talmud Chagigah.

Here are some excerpts from "The Beginning of Wisdom" by Leon Kass, primarily discussing Bereshis - Genesis.

"Songs from the Liturgy" is a collection of Piyyut, including Avinu Malkeinu, Anim Zemirot, and Akdamus Millin.

Here is another collection of my recordings, with the entire morning prayer service, psalms, and even some piano music.

Here are several recordings and study notes of Hallel.

Please let Rafi know if you find broken links, audio problems, mislabeled items, if you have suggestions, or see other issues, here.

Here is Rabbi Hoffman's mirror to this page, with all of his Torah Audios.


Bereishis [Genesis 1:1 - 6:8:] The world is created in six days. Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden, Cain kills Abel.

Metzora [Leviticus 14:1 - 15:33] The laws for the purification of the leper after healing are discussed. Two birds, one slaughtered, one set free. Mold on houses.
Noach [Genesis 6:9 -11:32] A flood destroys the world. HASHEM's rainbow promises that the world will never again be destroyed in its entirety. Nimrod builds the Tower of Babel, Abram is born.
Acharei Mot [Leviticus 16:1 - 18:30] Retelling of the death of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu in Shemini. Aaron chooses by lot a goat and a scapegoat. Decree of Yom Kippur "Shabbat Shabbaton."
Lech Lecha - [Genesis 12:1 - 17:27] Abraham leaves Mesopotamia for the Promised Land.Hagar and Ishmael. New names and the promise of a child.
Kedoshim [Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27] More laws are set forth, including, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Forbidden relationships. Ethical weights and measures. Prohibition of "shatnez" - mixed wool and linen.
Vayeira - [Genesis 18:1 - 22.24] Abraham welcomes three angels into his tent and learns that his wife Sarah will give birth to a son. The Binding of Isaac, the destruction of Sodom.
Emor [Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23] Requirements of the kohen gadol [high priest]; details of terumah, a special kind of offering. Festival seasons are described in detail. Pesach, the Omer, Shavuot, Rosh haShana, Yom Kippur, Succot, Shemini Atzeres, Menorah, Showbread. The blasphemer [megahdeyf] is stoned to death.
Chayei Sarah - [Genesis 23:1 - 25:18] Abraham purchases the Cave of Machpelah for Sarah's burial. Eliezer finds a suitable wife, Rebecca, for Abraham's son Isaac. Behar [Leviticus 25:1 - 26:2] The sabbatical and jubilee years are discussed.
Toldot [Genesis 25:19 - 28: 9] The birth of Esau and Jacob. Isaac blesses Jacob in a deception scheme contrived by Rebekah, and Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of "red stuff."
Behukotai [Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34] The punishment for rejecting HASHEM's covenant is discussed. The first set of tochekot, or punishments [2nd in Nitzavim].
Vayetzei [Genesis 28:10 - 32:3] Jacob dreams of a ladder to heaven, then works 14 years for his uncle, Laban, and marries Leah and Rachel. Incidents of the dudaim and teraphim. Birth of Joseph. Bamidbar [Numbers 1:1 - 4:20] Census of the tribes, the arrangement of the camp, temple duties for each of the tribes.
Vayishlach [Genesis 32:4 - 36:43] Jacob sends messengers to meet Esau before they reunite after 20 years. Jacob wrestles with an angel and recieves the name "Israel." The rape of Dinah and the decimation of Shechem. Rachel dies and is buried in Bethlehem. Isaac dies and Jacob and Esau bury him at the Cave of Machpelah. Naso [Numbers 4:21 - 7:89] The Sotah [wayward wife], regulations concerning Nazirites, the Birkat Kohanim [threefold blessing], and the offerings of the tribes.
Vayeshev [Genesis 37:1-40:23] Joseph shares his dreams and his brothers strip him of his coat of many colors and throw him into a pit. Incident of Judah and Tamar. Potifar's wife, Asnat, attempts to seduce Joseph, who gets thrown in prison. BeHa'alotkha [Numbers 8:1 - 12:10] Kindling of the menorah, consecration of the Levites. Pesach Sheni. Moses invites Jethro to join B'nei Yisroel. "Vayahi binsoa" verses between inverted nuns. Quail in response to complaints about the Manna. Seventy elders are delegated to serve under Moses. Quarantine of Miriam.
Mikeitz [Genesis 41:1 - 44:17] Joseph successfully interprets Pharaoh's dreams, and is appointed viceroy of Egypt. Jacob sends the brothers to Egypt to ask for food from Joseph, who entraps Benjamin with the Divining Goblet.
Shelach [Numbers 13:1 - 15:41] Twelve spies are dispatched to survey the land of Canaan, only two of the spies return with a positive report. Decree of 40 years wandering, Challah, the son of part- Egyptian lineage gathers sticks on Shabbat, decree of tzitzis [fringes].
Vayigash [Genesis 44:18 - 47:27] After Judah makes an impassioned entreaty for mercy, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, who are dumbfounded, and the family is re-united.
Korach [Numbers 16:1 - 18:32] Demons go to Yeshiva: Embracing the negative. Korach refuses to accept the leadership of Moses and Aaron. He and his assembly are killed by an earthquake. Aharon's staff sprouts almonds.
Vayechi - [Genesis 47:28 - 50:26] Jacob lives in Egypt 17 years, and then, before he dies at the age of 110, blesses his sons, beginning with Menashe and Ephraim, with whom he switches his hands. After he dies, he is placed in a coffin in Egypt.
Chukat [Numbers 19:1 - 22:1] The laws regarding the red heifer are enumerated. Deaths of Miriam, and Aharon. Moses strikes the rock and water gushes forth. Amalek attacks, wars of Sihon and Og.
Shemot [Exodus 1:1 - 6:1] Moses, in a basket floating in the Nile, is saved by Pharaoh's daughter. HASHEM appears to Moses at the burning bush, and tells him he will be his agent in freeing the Children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob from their slavery in Egypt.
Balak [Numbers 22:2 - 25:9] Balak, king of Moab, sends Bilaam to curse the Israelites. Instead, Bilaam gives his blessing to them. Pinchas executes Cozbi and Zimri.
Va'eira [Exodus 6:2 - 9:35] HASHEM brings the first seven plagues upon the Egyptians. Pharaoh's heart hardens and he refuses to let the Hebrew slaves go. Pinchas [Numbers 25:10 - 30:1] Tribal genealogies, the daughters of Zelophechad are given their father's inheritance. The offerings for the holy days are enumerated. Hashem shows Moses the land and informs him he will not enter, and that Joshua will be his successor.
Bo [Exodus 10:1 - 13:16]   The last three plagues. The mitzvah of Rosh Hodesh; the privilege of blessing the new months. The newly freed Hebrew slaves hastily leave Egypt and bake matzah from unleavened dough.
Mattot [Numbers 30:2 - 32:42] Moses informs the tribal heads regarding the laws of vowing. The battle with Midian. Kashering utensils. Division of the spoils.Request of Reuven and Gad.
Beshalach [Exodus 13:17 - 17:16] The waters of the Red Sea divide to make a path for the Israelites. Sweetening of the waters of Marah. Manna, then quail falls from Heaven. Water from the rock; Amalek attacks. Masai [Numbers 33:1 - 36:13] The detailed account of the various way stations on the Israelites' route to the Promised Land. Reference is made to the cities of refuge. The inheritances of the daughters of Zelophechad are restated.
Yitro - [Exodus 18:1 - 20:23] Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, advises him to appoint judges so as to ease his burden. Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.
Devarim [Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22] Moses recounts the mission of the spies in detail; tribal boundaries, battles of Sihon and Og, inheritances.
Mishpatim [Exodus 21:1 - 24:18] Moses instructs the recently freed Hebrew slaves in the Law, starting with the ethical treatment of slaves.
Va'et'chanan [Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11] The Ten Commandments are repeated, with slight variations [shamor]. Moses entreats Hashem 515 times to enter the land. The cities of refuge are mentioned. The first section of the Shema is begun with, "Shema Yisroel" and "You shall love the Lord your G-d."
Terumah - [Exodus 25:1 - 27:19] The instructions for the tabernacle are given, with detailed lists of its components.
Eikev [Deuteronomy 7:12 - 11:25] The Shema continues with the second paragraph, which deals with the theme of reward and punishment.
Tetzaveh - [Exodus 27:20 - 30:10] Aaron and his sons are put in charge of the menorah. The priestly garments are described in great detail. Only parsha with no mention of Moses. The number eight is emphasized in this, the eighth parsha. Re'eh [Deuteronomy 11:26 - 16:17] Moses continues his address, telling the people that obedience will bring blessing, whereas disobedience will bring curses. Permitted and forbidden foods. Tithing; forgiving of debts and Jewish bondsmen every 7 years. Pesach, Shavuot, Succot.
Ki Tisa [Exodus 30:11 - 34:35] Ingredients for the annointment oil and the incense are given. Betzalel is named as contractor to build the mishkan. The Children of Israel tire of waiting for Moses and build a golden calf - when Moses sees it he shatters the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Moses entreats Hashem to forgive the people; and sees Hashem from the cleft in the rock; we learn the 13 attributes; Moses' face glows: "karan or." Shoftim [Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9] Moses continues, giving rules for judges, the case of the rebellious elder, choosing a king who must write two copies of the Torah, cities of refuge, preserving boundaries, rules of war, exemptions to military duty, preservation of fruit trees, and unsolved murders.
Vayakhel [Exodus 35:1 - 38:20] The people bring an array of gifts for the Tabernacle until they are told to stop. Ki Teitze [Deuteronomy 21:9 - 25:19] "When you go to war" - the rules of the war-captive wife. The Rebellious Son; shatnez [mixed fibers], tzitzis [fringes], laws pertaining to lost property, the educational responsibility of parents to their children, and kindness to animals. Most mitzvot of any parsha, 27 "do" and 47 "don't do." Remember to forget Amalek.
Pikudei Exodus 38:21 - 40:38] The cloud of glory covers the completed Tabernacle as the Israelites stand in the distance.

Ki Tavo [Deuteronomy 26:1 - 29:8] Moses continues, giving the laws of tithing and first fruits, blessings and curses for following or not following the commandments - the "tokaychot" list of 98 penalties [the first list is in Behukotai].

Vayikra [Leviticus 1:1 - 5:25] HASHEM reveals the sacrifical laws. Nitzavim [Deuteronomy 29:9 - 30:20] The Torah of Obligation and the Dance of Reciprocity. Moses continues his farewell speech, HASHEM tells the people to "Choose Life." "Adding water upon the thirsty."
Tzav [Leviticus 6:1 - 8:36] Instructions to Aharon about the duties of the Kohanim - removal of the ashes, various fires and offerings, consecration of the kohanim, The seven day inauguration at the Tent of Meeting.
Vayeilech [Deuteronomy 31:1 - 30] Joshua is appointed successor to Moses. Moses completes the writing of the Torah.
Shemini [Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47] Laws describing kosher and nonkosher animals are enumerated. Issues of skin, clothes, houses, and bodily emissions. Nadab and Abihu bring strange fire. "Darosh darash" - middle words in Torah. Haazinu [Deuteronomy 32:1 - 32:52] The Song of Moses, in which he calls upon heaven and earth to witness HASHEM's dependability.
Tazria [Leviticus 12:1-13:59] Cleanliness and uncleanllness are defined in relation to childbirth and leprosy.
Vezot ha Berachah [Deuteronomy 33:1 - 34:12] Moses' final blessing poem and the report of his death on mount Nebo. Joshua becomes the leader of Israel. The quality of Moses' prophecy.