Friday, January 30, 2015 Shevat 10, 5775
VAYIGASH, Genesis 44:18-47:27
By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
After weeks of immersion in the story of Joseph and his brothers, we arrive at the penultimate portion in this cycle. We have followed Joseph's rising fortune as his father's favorite, and his descent after being thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers. Rescued, he is elevated to a position of trust by Potiphar, only to be cast down...
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MIKETZ, Genesis 41:1-44:17
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
It's certainly not easy being someone you're not, but even more difficult -- as the story of Joseph illustrates -- is remaining true to yourself. This week's Torah portion opens with the dream of Pharaoh and the Hebrew slave whose interpretation wins over the Egyptian ruler and raises him up to the pinnacles of power. When famine strikes the land,...
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VAYESHEV, Genesis 37:1-40:23
By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
The natural world at this time of year grows dark, cold and bare. Some find this to be a time for reflection, while others feel weighed down by the increasing darkness. These dueling impulses are played out in the themes of the Joseph cycle, which begins in this week's portion, Vayeshev. The tension between dark and light is enacted at...
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Vayishlach, Genesis 37:1-40:23
By:
Rabbi Eliott N. Perilstein
An alternate title to the Torah portion last week might be this: "See Jacob Run." After what must have been a complicated upbringing that resulted in his deceiving his brother, Esau, and father, Isaac, Jacob runs away from home. His mother, Rebecca, advises him to get out of town to escape Esau's wrath -- and Jacob does, as fast as...
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TOLEDOT, 25:10-28:9
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
It's never easy being someone you're not. But is it evil? Beginning with the forced sale of Esau's birthright to Jacob, progressing through Jacob's stealing of Esau's blessing, and ending with Esau's marriage to one of Ishmael's descendants, this week's Torah portion is a study in deception. Even a cursory reading would indicate that half-truths may be justified in some...
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