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Weekly Parsha

YITRO 5782 1/16/2022 12:34 AM

A literal reading of the Parsha tells us that Yitro, who was the high priest of Midian and the father-in-law of Moshe, saw of the events of the Exodus from Egypt and, according to Rashi based on Midrash, saw the battle the Jewish people fought against Amalek. The Torah implies, and Rashi states openly, that upon hearing of these events, Yitro was propelled to leave his home, and to come into...

B’SHALACH 5782 1/9/2022 12:00 AM

If a person lights even a small candle in a dark room, the resultant light is instantaneously recognizable. Even the flickering of the smallest of candle shines brightly in an enclosed space that is dark. However, if one is to light even a large candle in a room filled with brilliant sunlight or an excess of artificial illumination, the light of that candle is hardly noticeable. One can say...

BO 5782 1/2/2022 12:00 AM

This week's Torah reading highlights the final contentious debate between Moshe and the Pharaoh of Egypt. The opening sentence that introduces the drama describes that Moshe should somehow come to Pharaoh and warn him of the consequences that the continuing oppression of the Jewish people will bring upon him and his nation. The Hebrew text lends itself in the reading that Moshe should...

VAEIRA 5782 12/26/2021 12:19 AM

Many of the Torah commentaries point out that unlike our forefathers, Moshe, in this week's opening verses to the Parsha, did not accept that God's promises of redemption for the Jewish people had not yet been fulfilled. In God's response to this, we sense a veiled criticism of our great teacher and leader Moshe. Heaven responded to Moshe by saying that he enjoyed a higher and different...

SHEMOT 5782 12/19/2021 12:00 AM

Nothing human is ever permanent. Perhaps the only exception to this rule is human nature itself, which, seemingly, has never changed from the days of the Garden of Eden until today. So, we should not be surprised by the narrative of the Torah in this week's portion. The Jewish people have been in Egypt for centuries. They have lived off the fat of the Land in Goshen. They were highly...

VAYECHI 5782 12/12/2021 12:01 AM

The last seventeen years of the life of our father Jacob are ones of apparent tranquility and comfort. Even though he is already in Egypt and is aware that this is the beginning of the long and brutal exile, foreseen by his grandfather Abraham in his vision of the covenant that will bind the Jewish people to its creator and destiny, he nevertheless enjoys the temporary comfort, care and familial...

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. ...