Posts Tagged: d’var Torah

The Torah In Haiku: Vayigash



Slavery begins Not the Jews, but Egyptians Become Pharoah’s serfs Genesis 47:19: Why should we die before your very eyes – us and our land? Buy our bodies and our land in exchange for bread. Let us become Pharaoh’s serfs, and let our land [also be his]. Trouble foreshadowed A new Pharoah will not like […]

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“Is My Father [Really] Alive?”: More than a Rhetorical Question



Are there any more moving words in the entire Torah than the question Joseph asks immediately upon revealing his identity to his brothers: “Is my father [really] alive?” (Genesis 45:3). After many years of denying his identity, hiding his identity, and trying to forget his past, he cannot contain himself any longer. He clears the […]

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The Torah In Haiku: Mikeitz



Joseph’s sons are born Menasseh and Ephraim Their mom’s Egyptian The Maccabees fought But Joseph seems to embrace Assimilation Genesis 41:50-52: Joseph had two sons before the famine years came, borne to him by Asenath, daughter of Poti Phera, priest of On. Joseph named the first-born Menasseh – ‘Because God has made me forget (nasheh) […]

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D’var Torah: Mikeitz: The Power of Names and Naming



Elie Wiesel has written, “In Jewish history, a name has its own history and its own memory. It connects beings with their origins. To retrace its path is then to embark on an adventure in which the destiny of a single word becomes one with that of a community; it is to undertake a passionate […]

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The Torah In Haiku: Vayeishev



Sibling jealously Because Joseph was favored By father Jacob Genesis 37:3-4: Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son os his old age; and he made him a long colorful coat. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could […]

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D’var Torah: From the Coat of Many Colors to a Simple Garment: The Unmaking of Joseph



It is said that clothes make the man. But in this week’s portion, Vayeishev, they have a great deal to do with the unmaking of Joseph. Two garments, the coat of many colors and the undistinguished garment Potiphar’s wife strips off of him, end up contributing to his trials, each being a catalyst for his […]

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The Torah In Haiku: Vayishlach



Jacob and Esau Brothers are reunited Twice in this parsha At their first meeting Jacob fears his brother’s wrath But Esau is kind Then their father dies They both return to Hebron To bury Isaac

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D’var Torah: Vayishlach: A Wrestling Match for the Ages



“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to rumble! “In this corner, returning after a long absence in Haran, where he is rumored to have fathered eleven sons and one daughter with four different women, considered by some a saint and by others a heel, is the one, the only, Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah. […]

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The Torah In Haiku: Vayeitzei



Laban tricks Jacob What goes around comes around Biblical karma? At Jewish weddings We remember this story With the bedeken

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The Torah In Haiku: Toldot



Rivkah and Ya’kov Conspire to mislead Yitzchak She knows it’s G-d’s will Another story Of family dysfunction Our founders? Human. The commentators say Rebeccah had to make sure Jacob got Isaac’s blessing, because of what G-d told her when she was pregnant and the twins were fighting in her womb.

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Digging Wells: Contention, Harassment, and Wide Places



by Rabbi Yair Robinson Most folks are just now ‘discovering’ the conflict going on between Israel and Hamas that has been taking place for the last week. Sadly, people are now only aware that in the last because it’s real finally chose to respond to days and days of rocket and mortar fire by killing […]

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D’var Torah: Toldot: Isaac: Why Is This Patriarch Different from All Other Patriarchs?



This week’s Torah portion begins with the phrase, V’eileh toldot Yitzchak ben Avraham, “This is the line of Isaac son of Abraham” (Genesis 25:19), indicating that the text is now going to focus on Isaac, the second of the Patriarchs of our tradition. And, indeed, he figures prominently in the stories of this portion. However, […]

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The Torah In Haiku: Chayei Sarah



To bury Sarah Abe makes sure he buys a place Cave of Machpelah Many will join her Patriarchs and Matriarchs But Jews can’t visit After the death of Sarah, Abraham sought a place to bury his wife. In Chapter 23 of Genesis, we read about the purchase of the Cave of Machpelah. It was offered to […]

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Sodom and Gomorrah, Hurricane Sandy, and God



by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat This week, in parashat Vayeira, God decides to punish the wicked, declaring, “The outrage of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave!” And Avraham argues, “Will You sweep away the innocent along with the guilty?” The two angels who had recently visited Avraham go to Sodom. They’ve […]

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