Monday, April 21, 2014 Nisan 21, 5774
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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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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