Tag Archives: parsha

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

With Strong Hands and Outstretched Arms

Parashat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1) The story of our departure from Egypt begins with a cry—the deep, inarticulate cry of pain and longing that rises up from the bellies of the Israelite slaves and ascends to heaven. It is their cry, in this week’s Torah portion, that—after generations of slavery—finally evokes a response from God, and sets the process of liberation in motion. “The Israelites were groaning under their bondage and… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah rachel-adelman

Brothers on the Edge

Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) The Book of Genesis revolves around stories of rivalry between brothers, from Cain and Abel to Joseph and his brothers. All entail terrible acts of violence—murder, banishment, stolen blessing, plotted revenge, and abduction into slavery—exacerbated by God’s favor of the younger son. Do we see any moral evolution from that original act of fratricide to the relationship between Jacob’s sons, the twelve founding fathers of Israel?… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Suzanne Offit

How Will the Story End?

Parashat Vayigash  (Genesis 44:18-47:27) “Hinei mah tov u’ma na’im shevet achim gam yachad.” “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers sit all together.” — Psalm 133:1 I first learned these words and several musical renditions of this textual snippet as a child, long before I could even translate the psalmist’s words into English. Years later, having learned the literal meaning of this verse, I began to contemplate its meaning more… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi JIm Morgan

Joseph, Pharaoh, and the Perpetual Stranger

Parashat Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17) This year, as is often the case, we read Parashat Mikeitz on Shabbat Hanukkah, a celebration of light that affirms the durability of our Jewish identity during periods of assimilation and even oppression. In one such period—of assimilation in the United States and of genocide in Europe—Muriel Rukeyser spoke about the gift of being a Jew: To be a Jew in the twentieth century Is to… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Cantor Ken Richmond

Lighting Up the Darkness One Good Point at a Time

Parshat Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23) As someone who, by nature of my profession, has the privilege of leading my congregation in prayer on a regular basis, I have long taken inspiration and instruction from a quote from the Hasidic master Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), who said in his teaching “Azamra”: …The one who can create these melodies by finding the good points in every Jew… is fit to be the prayer leader. The… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Jordan Braunig

When the Holy One is a No-Show

Parshat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3) By Rabbi Jordan Braunig, Rab`14 Perhaps the most memorable words from this week’s parasha, Parashat Vayetze, are the oft-quoted words of Jacob, who having awoken from a holy vision of a ladder connecting the heavens and earth says: אכן יש ה במקום הזה ואנוכי לא ידעת Surely Adonai was in this place, and I…I didn’t know it. The line is in some ways the quintessential expression… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah RabbiBeckySilverstein-100px

Bringing the Personal into the World

Parashat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9) When people hear that I am a twin, they tend to immediately ask,  “are you identical or fraternal?”  Upon seeing us, it is clear that we are fraternal. The next question people ask is “who is older?”  And sometimes they will follow up with, “which one is the good twin?” The answers to these questions are linked—I am older because my sister is the bad twin…. Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Lehmann

To be a Stranger and Resident

Parashat Chayei Sarah (23:1-25:18) Toward the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, Abraham describes himself to those with whom he lives with the phrase, “ger v’toshav anochi imachem, I am a stranger and a resident among you” (Gen. 23:4). Various Jewish commentators have interpreted this self-description as much more than just a statement about Abraham’s relationship to his immediate neighbors in the context of purchasing a burial plot… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Shira Shazeer

Crisis Parenting: Walking Together Through Bitter and Sweet

Parshat Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24) Last week, my four-year-old announced gleefully, “It’s almost Kislev!” He is joyfully anticipating the next Jewish month because of my personal custom to declare the holiday-free month of Mar-Cheshvan a family-wide post-holiday sugar detox. My son’s excitement makes perfect sense – except that it is only the second day of Cheshvan. I answer somewhat incredulously, “It’s almost Kislev?” “Yes,” he says, “Only twenty-eight days!” Somehow, what… Read Article →