Monday, September 22, 2014 Elul 27, 5774
Va'era, Exodus 6:2-9:35
By:
Rabbi Richard Hirsh
One complexity of Jewish tradition is the tendency of later generations to read early documents through interpretations offered by individuals of the intermediate generations. For example: The book of Exodus (24:10) states that Moses and Aaron saw God. For medieval commentators, the idea that a) God could have a tangible "body" and b) that human beings could apprehend it was...
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Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1
By:
Rabbi Joyce Newmark
As we begin reading the book of Shemot, the Torah's narrative transitions from the story of a family -- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- to the story of the Jewish people and two events that shaped our identity -- the exodus from Egypt and the giving of Torah at Mount Sinai. We begin with an account of the birth and...
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VAYEHI, Genesis 47:28-50:26
By:
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
On the face of it, Genesis ends happily: About to die, Jacob assures his own burial the way he wants it, back home in Israel, not Egypt. Then, he surrounds himself with his children, and each receives a final blessing. But below the surface, things are not so rosy. The funeral part works out fine, but not the rest. What...
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Miketz, Genesis 41:1-44:17
By:
Rabbi Joyce Newmark
Pharaoh dreams of cows and grain, and in what seems like only minutes, Joseph is taken from his prison cell and elevated to the position of viceroy of Egypt, empowered to carry out the plan he had suggested to Pharaoh. And, as Joseph had said, after seven years of plenty, the famine comes -- not only to Egypt, but to...
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Vayeshev, Genesis 37:1-40:23
By:
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
Each year, when I get to the Joseph story, I know Chanukah is near. But I like neither the historical story of the war nor the legendary miracle of the oil. Judaism is so unwarlike that the rabbis excluded the war story from the Bible; and even though they focused on the oil, miracles did not become mainstream Judaism. Rabbinic...
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