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Weekly Parsha

VAYIGASH 5782 12/5/2021 12:00 AM

As the story of Joseph and his brothers reaches its dramatic climax in this week’s Torah reading, we are left with many unanswered questions regarding this unique narrative. One unanswered question is how much did our father Jacob really know about the events previously described in the Torah readings? There are various streams of thought regarding this matter. Rashi and the Midrash seem to...

MIKETZ 5782 11/28/2021 11:30 AM

There is a famous statement that reverberates throughout Jewish society over the ages that states: "…what cannot be solved by wisdom, will eventually be solvedby the passage of time." It seems that time is never neutral, and that its passage certainly influences decisions and events that take place in human society. Our rabbis have commented that the miraculous deliverance of Joseph from...

VAYESHEV 5782 11/21/2021 12:17 AM

The story of Joseph and his brothers reveals both the strengths and weaknesses of mortal beings and a family structure. Parents, in a perfect world, do not have favorite children. All their children are their favorites, in their minds and hearts. However, in the imperfect world that we live in, favoritism within a family is a norm and not an exception. For whatever reason – and it is usually...

VAYISHLACH 5782 11/14/2021 07:12 AM

We seem to find our father Jacob always in some sort of flight. He flees from the wrath of his brother Eisav and spends decades in exile in the house of Lavan. Eventually, he is forced to flee from Lavan when it becomes obvious to him that dishonesty, corruption, and idolatry that characterize the house of Lavan endanger Jacob's physical and spiritual survival, as well as that of his family. ...

VAYETZEI 5782 11/7/2021 12:17 AM

In a few weeks, we will read in the Torah that the brothers of Joseph referred to him almost derisively as being the master of dreams. Yet we see in this week's reading that it is our father Jacob who is really the master of dreams. Two of Yaakov's major dreams are recorded for us, and it is obvious from the story of his life that Yaakov is constantly guided and influenced by the dreams that...

TOLDOT 5782 10/31/2021 12:00 PM

This week's Torah reading begins with the recounting of the generations of Abraham and Isaac. It is titled “Toldot,” which literally means the children, as it relates to genealogy, and generations. The Torah reading of a few weeks ago also recounted for us the genealogy and generations of Noah and his sons. But that portion of the Torah was titled “Noach” and not “Toldot.” The...

CHAYEI SARAH 5782 10/24/2021 12:00 AM

The Torah records for us the years of the life of our mother Sarah. It is done in a lengthy fashion counting one hundred years, twenty years and then seven years, instead of merely stating that she lived for 127 years. Rashi, in his famous commentary, states that this teaches us that that all her years were good ones. At first glance, this is difficult to understand and accept. In reviewing...

VAYERA 5782 10/17/2021 12:00 AM

Our father Abraham experiences the revelation of the Lord when he is sitting alone at the opening of his tent. Only a few days had passed since his circumcision and the day itself is being described. He appears to us as a solitary figure, wrapped in his own thoughts, searching for attachment to his Creator. We are accustomed to think of this situation as being one of preparation for the visit of...

LECH LECHA 5782 10/10/2021 12:00 AM

We recognize that in many ways our father Abraham is an innovator, a one-of-a-kind individual, someone who is original, unique, and fearless in his quest for the betterment of the human race and the creation of the Jewish people. Among all his other achievements, if we look carefully at the opening chapters of the Lech Lecha, we find that our father Abraham is also the first human being recorded...

NOACH 5782 10/4/2021 11:49 AM

The ten generations described in the Torah, from Adam until Noach, produced only chaos and eventual destruction. There were a few individuals, such as Chanoch, who were moral and positive people. However, they had little, if any, influence on the general society in which they lived, and not even one person who would follow them and their moral behavior. Our world, and all our societies are,...