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January 13, 2017

There is a system of paragraphs in the Torah called parshiot.  Rashi explains on the first verse in sefer Vayikrah that theparshiot were given to Moshe by Hashem so that Moshe could contemplate each section and each theme.  We therefore understand that these divisions...

January 5, 2017

Parshat Vayigash opens with Yosef planting a goblet into Binyamin's bag, framing his little brother with theft.  Yosef threatens that Binyamin will be imprisoned.  In his impassioned appeal to Yosef to allow Binyamin to return home to his father in Canaan, with Yehuda...

December 30, 2016

In Parshat Miketz, after his rise to power in Egypt, we see Yosef beginning to form his own family.  When his son Menashe is born, Yosef speaks about the reason he gives his son this name.  In Perek מא, pasuk נא, the Torah says:
 

וַיִּקְרָא יוֹסֵף אֶת-שֵׁם הַבְּכו...

December 16, 2016

The night before Yaakov is to reunite with his brother, Esav, he encounters a mysterious assailant in Penuel.  Yaakov wrestles with the attacker throughout the evening and prevails. At the conclusion of this episode, the Torah describes the following in Perek 32, pasuk...

December 9, 2016

We begin this week's parsha with Yaakov on the run.  He has fled his home and he needs to rest because it is nightfall.  

In Perek 28, pasuk 11, we read:

וַיִּפְגַּע בַּמָּקוֹם וַיָּלֶן שָׁם, כִּי-בָא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ, וַיִּקַּח מֵאַבְנֵי הַמָּקוֹם, וַיָּשֶׂם מְרַאֲשֹׁתָי...

December 2, 2016

Reflections on these Past Two Weeks and this Week's Parsha:

In this week's parsha, Parshat Toldot, we read about Yaakov having to re-dig the wells his father Avraham dug.  We remember that Avraham dug wells to enable people to have access to water. Chazal understand t...

November 25, 2016

The Midrash in Braishit Rabbah on Chayei Sarah records a peculiar event related to the opening pasuk in Chayei Sara:

Rabbi Akiva was delivering a shiur when he noticed his audience dozing.  In order to grab their attention, Rabbi Akiva asks “Why did Esther rule over 1...

November 18, 2016

At the beginning of this week's parsha, Parshat Vayera, Perek 18, the Torah discusses the episode of the three guests who are invited into Avraham and Sarah's home.  The Torah describes Avraham, sitting by the opening of his tent at the hottest point of the day:

  .וַיּ...

November 11, 2016

Why was it that God commanded Noach Pru U’rvu – be fruitful and multiply three times?  Is it not enough to command him once?  The answer given is that Hashem must instruct Noach to look beyond his own existence and his own humanity.  Noach needs to repopulate after the...

November 4, 2016

Shabbat Shalom.

The first time we are introduced to Noach, there is a great deal of optimism and hope invested in him.
 
At the end of last week’s parsha, we are told Chanoch walked with God, VaYithalaich Chanoch et haElokim.  He bore Metushelach and Metushelach bore La...

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