Sidrahs

Vayiggash

By Rabbi Jonny Hughes, December 23, 2014

They say that one parent can take care of ten children, but ten children cannot take care of one parent. In this week’s sidrah, when Judah makes an impassioned plea to the viceroy in Egypt (who turns out to be his brother, Joseph) to release Benjamin, he argues, “How can you not let him go? If his father finds out that he did not return, he will not be able to survive.”

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Mikketz

By Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, December 18, 2014

Dreams can sometimes be so powerful that they actually change us. Three such instances of dreaming feature this week. The first are the two dreams of Pharaoh. He dreams of the seven sturdy and seven thin cows that rise up out of the Nile. "Then Pharaoh awoke".

He immediately goes back to sleep and this time he dreams of the seven strong and seven weedy ears of grain.

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Vayeshev

By Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, December 11, 2014

In his monumental work on business management Good to Great, author James Collins illustrates the qualities of leadership that help average companies become superlative ones. "Level 5 leadership", as he classifies it, combines the paradoxical qualities of genuine personal humility and intense personal will.

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Vayishlach

By Gila Fine, December 4, 2014

He was born red. A violent shock of red hair covered his head, his forearms, his infant legs. A bad omen, said the midwife, and turned away from him to his crowning brother. The second-born was far more favourable. Fair and smoothed-skinned like his mother, timid and pious like his father; a much better heir. Yet he, Esau, would inherit the birthright.

He was a boy of the field.

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Vayetzei

By David Mitchell, November 27, 2014

Jacob is fleeing from his brother. Far from home, in strange terrain, he stops for the night at a place that appears quite ordinary. He falls sleep, dreams of a ladder with angels ascending and descending and then he encounters God. He awakens a changed man and reappraises his surroundings, declaring the location "awesome".

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Toldot

By Rabbi Jonny Hughes, November 20, 2014

When I caught my children calling each other curious variations of the word "ketchup", it made me think of Esau. Famished after a hard day's hunting, he came home to the smell of fresh food and demanded some "red, red stuff" from his brother. Why does the Torah nickname Esau "Edom" ("Red One") after the colour of the lentil stew he requested? In what way was this request so definitive of the man?

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Chayei sarah

By Rabbi Shulamit Ambalu, November 13, 2014

Chayei Sarah is all about death and sex; the death of Sarah, and how Isaac's passion for his bride Rebecca restores him after his loss.

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Vayera

By Rabbi Elchonon Feldman, November 6, 2014

Abraham is the original monotheist. He started the "One God" fan club. Of course, God knew who he was. Why then does the verse emphasise God's awareness of Abraham?

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Lech lecha

By Gila Fine, October 30, 2014

The glare. It came at you, white and fierce, defying you to take one more step into the sun. Yet there was something benevolent about it, something beckoning, a guide toward the promised land.

Abram squinted. He was never one for bright lights. They reminded him too much of Ur. It was, he recalled, a world in flames.

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Noach

By David Mitchell, October 23, 2014

We all know the story - the animals came in two by two, it rained for forty days and nights, the waters receded, the dove returned with an olive branch, Noah left the Ark, and a rainbow appeared. But what happened next?

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