Monday, September 22, 2014 Elul 27, 5774
VAYISHLAH, Genesis 32:4-36:43
By:
Rabbi Richard Hirsh
Many of the stories of the Jewish people deal with collective experiences, as do most of the major festivals of the Jewish calendar. Pesach commemorates the Exodus; Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah; Sukkot remembers the desert wanderings. Chanukah and Purim narrate stories of deliverance for the community. With so much emphasis on the collective, the stories of Jewish...
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VAYETZE, Genesis 28:10-32:3
By:
Rabbi Joyce Newmark
There is no doubt that Laban is the villain in this week's parshah. He takes advantage of Jacob's intense love for Rachel to make Jacob an indentured servant, and then deceives him by substituting Leah for Rachel and extracting another seven years of unpaid labor from his nephew. Later, when Jacob's unpaid service has been completed and they agree on...
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Toldot, Genesis 25:19-28:9
By:
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
If you have turned 40, you know it's no ordinary birthday; if you're not yet 40, pray to God you get there -- with appropriate trepidation. These thoughts on "40" are prompted by our parshah's curious insistence that Isaac married Rebecca when he was 40. Commentators are taken aback, if for no other reason than that 40 is pretty old...
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Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1-25:18
By:
Rabbi Shomo Riskin
Throughout the three biblical portions that deal with Abraham's life, we read of the tensions between Abraham and Sarah concerning the treatment of Hagar and Ishmael. Given that the Ramban established that one of the central principles driving Genesis is that "the stories of the ancestors presage and foreshadow the history of their descendants," the interplay between these personalities is...
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Va-yera, Genesis 18:1-22:24
By:
Rabbi Joyce Newmark
This week's parshah, Va-Yera, continues the story of Abraham and Sarah that we began reading last week. Abraham welcomes three travelers, not realizing that they are, in fact, angels. They tell Abraham that his 90-year-old wife, Sarah, will bear him a son, and we also read about the birth of that son, Isaac. Abraham attempts to bargain with God to...
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