Sidrahs

Vayechi

By Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk, December 27, 2012

In the last portion of Genesis, why does this verse begin with vayiru, they saw, just after the previous verse describes the sons burying their father Jacob? Wasn’t it obvious they knew their father was dead? The information seems unnecessary, but no word is superfluous in Torah.

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Vayigash

By Rabbi Daniel Beller, December 24, 2012

To establish a covenant with remarkably righteous individuals such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is easy. But to maintain it with an entire nation is an almost impossible task. Mistakes will be made and wrongs committed. How, then, can the covenant be held together without rejecting anyone?

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Mikketz

By Rsbbi Michael Pollak, December 13, 2012

Over the centuries our bookshelves have been blessed by many new Torah commentaries in every language imaginable. As a result we have tended to ignore the greatest commentary of them all, the Tanach. This week’s parashah illustrates how the Tanach often refers to and helps us understand the Torah.

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Vayeshev

By Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, December 6, 2012

We all have dreams. Whether you consider them to be neurological workings of the brain or messages from God, they are part of what it means to be human. They can inspire us and they can destroy us, sometimes both.

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Vayishlach

By Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, November 29, 2012

Amalek is the ancestor of the Jewish people’s eternal enemy, a nation whose utter destruction remains, at least theoretically, incumbent on all Jews. In the Book of Exodus we read how Amalek launches an unprovoked attack on the Children of Israel shortly after their departure from Egypt.

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Vayetzei

By Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk, November 29, 2012

We named our first child Reuben. It was the meaning that appealed: “Behold/See a son”.  It described the celebratory moment of a first bursting into our lives with all the anticipation of who he would be and the changes he would bring.

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Toldot

By Rabbi Daniel Beller, November 15, 2012

Even if the view that there are only problem parents is something of a generalisation, parents need to be extremely vigilant not to make the mistake of educating all their children identically. What was a blessing for one child could be the ruination of another.

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Chayei Sarah

By Rabbi Michael Pollak, November 8, 2012

This Shabbat will see religious Jews from all over the world gathering in the ancient capital city of Hebron for what has become one of the most joyful pilgrimages of the national calendar.

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Vayera

By Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, November 1, 2012

On so many levels, this verse is striking. It is the first instance where the Torah validates the voice of a female protagonist, with Rashi even commenting that this verse indicates that Sarah’s prophecy was superior to that of Abraham.

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Lech Lecha

By Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, October 25, 2012

Perhaps the most curious aspect of Abraham’s appointment as the first of our forefathers is the question why he was chosen in the first place. The Torah gives us no biographical sketch to indicate why he is asked to leave his home and begin a new religion in the Land of Israel.

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