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torah commentary
Imperfect forgiveness
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 The story of Joseph and his brothers is a story of life and death. The brothers seek to destroy Joseph; a famine attacks the land; Joseph as Egyptian prime min...
Jan 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
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A tale of two Yossis
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41;1-44;17 One of the most remarkable features of the laws of Chanukah is their focus on the home. The Talmud (Shabbat 21a) formulates the core obligation of Chanukah as bei...
Dec 29, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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Which is the greater Chanukah miracle?
Parshat Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 As we prepare for the festival of Chanukah — which commences at the conclusion of the upcoming Sabbath — it behooves us to revisit the significance of the light...
Dec 21, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend
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The name of a nation — Israel: preparedness and perseverance leads to triumph
Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 The Torah teaches us that Yaakov prepared on three fronts, in the face of the looming confrontation with Eisav. He prepared a gift, to hopefully soften Eisav....
Dec 14, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Dedicated Ugandan rabbi gives us hope, inspiration
Parshat Vayetzei, Genesis 25:19-28:9 Can you imagine, if, in order to make a meal, you had to walk four miles round trip to get the water, another couple of miles to collect the firewood, harvest y...
Dec 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend
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Do the math
Parshat Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9 In my many opportunities to study the Torah with people, either in a group class or individually, I often remind people that as we read and study the verses we mu...
Nov 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
Joseph, the wonder boy
by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman
Dec 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 215 215 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26 Joseph is not shy about sharing his dreams and prophecies with the public. He understands prophecy as a gift that ought to guide and give vision to his growing ...
A public figure’s private life: ‘Inquiring minds want to know’
by Rabbi Paul Tuchman
Dec 17, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 208 208 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 “Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone withdraw from me!’ So there was no one else about when Jose...
Chanukah: ours, theirs or something else
by Rabbi Sara Rae Perman
Dec 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 206 206 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Miketz, Genesis 41:1 - 44:17 There is a Christmas song entitled “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  For us Jews, I disagree. This time of year can be confusing, difficult, but not ...
The dreamers among us
by Rabbi Seth Adelson
Dec 03, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 208 208 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayyeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23 “You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one” Embedded in John Lennon’s idealistic song is a little dig at dreamers: The line suggests that to call so...
Humility and Thanksgiving
by Rabbi Eli Seidman
Nov 24, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 204 204 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat VaYishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43 Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. — Confucius Our forefather Jacob feared his upcoming reunion with his brother Esau. Years before, Esau had vo...
Let’s make a deal!
by Rabbi Howard Stein
Nov 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 213 213 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayetsei, Genesis 28:10-32:3 In this week’s portion, parashat Vayetsei, it seems that everyone is trying to pull a fast one on someone else. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah instead of...
‘A Prophetess Among Us’
by Rabbi Audrey R. Korotkin
Nov 10, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 215 215 recommendations | email to a friend
In the Hitchcock classic “Psycho,” we are treated to a grand misdirection. For the first half-hour of the film, we follow the story of Marion Crane, a bored and frustrated Phoenix secretary who ste...
What will they say when?
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Nov 05, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 212 212 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Chayei Sara, 23:1-25:18 Not to be morbid, but it is time for me to start thinking about what they might say at my funeral. Trust me, I have many years left (God willing), but it is still ti...
Pushing the limits
by Rabbi Doris J. Dyen
Oct 28, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 215 215 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Vayera, Genesis 18:1-22:24 How do we act when we’re under great pressure? What hidden strengths come out — and what weaknesses — as we navigate through rough times? Parshat Vayera invites u...
What’s in a name?
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
Oct 22, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 213 213 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Lech Lecha, Genesis 12:1-17:27 This week, Parshat Lech Lecha, translated as “go forth,” chronicles the earliest part of the Abraham and Sarah biblical narrative. However, at the time of Ado...