Sidrahs

Shemot

January 5, 2016

“The children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we. Come let us act wisely lest, if a war occurs ,they join our enemies” Exodus 1:8-10.
The antisemitic leitmotif of Parashat Shemot stretches far beyond. It has echoes in Megillat Esther (3:8-9): "There is a people dispersed among all the provinces of your realm.

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Shemot

By Rebbetzin Dr Lynndy Levin, January 1, 2016

"The children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we. Come let us act wisely lest, if a war occurs, they join our enemies" Exodus 1:8-10

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Vayechi

December 21, 2015

"And now, I give you one portion [sh'chem] more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow" Genesis 48:22

Jacob's life is drawing to its natural close and he wishes to bless his children before he departs this life.

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Vayiggash

December 17, 2015

"And Pharaoh said to his brothers, 'What is your occupation?' And they said to Pharaoh, 'Your servants are shepherds, both we, and our fathers'" Genesis 47:3

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Mikketz

By Rabbi Mark Solomon, December 10, 2015

The vain youth who had dreamt of his family bowing down to him has matured. Sold into slavery and thrown in prison, he has learnt humility. When Pharaoh says to him, "I'm told that you only have to hear a dream to interpret its meaning," Joseph modestly answers, "It's not down to me," or, following Targum Onkelos: not from my wisdom, but from God comes the answer to give Pharaoh peace of mind.

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Vayeshev

By Rabbi Daniel Roselaar, December 3, 2015

In rabbinic literature Joseph is described as Yosef Hatzaddik, Joseph the Righteous, a high accolade which we are taught that he earned because of the way that he resisted the sexual advances of Potiphar's wife.

One of the questions that comes to mind when reading the episode is why was he so careless in leaving his shirt in his mistress's hand when he fled from her?

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Vayishlach

By Rebbetzin Lauren Levin, November 26, 2015

Cruel and relentless killings in Israel continue to shake us to the very core of our personal and collective being. In the freeze frame between the ominous portent of Jacob's invitation to Esau to journey ahead of him, and the future-shock identity of Esau as arch enemy (36:1), the parashah leaves us in uneasy limbo.

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Vayetze

By Rabbi Larry Tabick, November 19, 2015

No question: our biblical patriarchs and matriarchs had very dysfunctional family lives, despite their importance as our physical and spiritual ancestors.

Jacob's family is a case in point. His wives, who are also sisters, are in constant competition for his affections.

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Toldot

By Maureen Kendler, November 12, 2015

When we were introduced to Rebecca in last week's sidrah, she seemed remarkable: independent, active, generous, a role model. The brief insight we are given to her marriage to Isaac is a positive, loving one.

But this week she seems very different.

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Chayei Sarah

By Rabbi Mark Solomon, November 5, 2015

Rebecca had the longer journey, from Haran in northern Mesopotamia, but just as she is about to meet her husband-to-be Isaac, the Torah tells us he, too, has been on a journey.

The poetry of the verse, ba mi-bo be'er, suggests this journey has been significant for him, and indeed, this is the first we have heard of Isaac since he was almost sacrificed by his father, Abraham.

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