Bo- Beating “Savlanut Syndrone”

Our סדרה continues the story of G-d’s plagues against the Egyptians to force the release of the Jewish People. First, the land of Egypt is struck with locusts, and the country’s crops are destroyed. Then, חושך hits the land, but not your run-of-the-mill plague of darkness: וַיְהִי חֹשֶׁךְ-אֲפֵלָה בְּכָל-אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים. לֹא-רָאוּ אִישׁ אֶת-אָחִיו, […]

Vayishlach- Beyond Bechorut

One of the biggest themes in the Torah so far has been birthright. Since restarting the cycle of פרשיות, we, the readers, have been exposed to several generations of people making decisions, with the emphasis usually on the oldest, the בכור of that דור. It makes perfect sense why we would focus on the firstborn- […]

Toldot- Fighting with the “Hands of Esav”

פרשת תולדות opens with a description of Rivka’s troubled pregnancy. At the conflicted reactions of her prenatal children (see Rashi/Midrash on passing houses of study and idol worship), our second matriarch seeks out divine guidance: ויֹּאמֶר ה’ לָהּ, שְׁנֵי גֹיִים בְּבִטְנֵךְ, וּשְׁנֵי לְאֻמִּים, מִמֵּעַיִךְ יִפָּרֵדוּ; וּלְאֹם מִלְאֹם יֶאֱמָץ, וְרַב יַעֲבֹד צָעִיר And G-d said to […]

Chaye Sara- Ensuring the Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

This week’s סדרה opens up with Sarah’s death and a lengthy description of Avraham’s acquiring of מערת המכפלה as a burial ground for her and future generations of Jews. In continuing with פרשת חיי שרה’s theme of life cycle events, Avraham sends his trusted servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak, in […]

Bechukotai- Escaping the Tochacha

Parshat Bechukotai contains many important, repeated themes in the Jewish People’s history and future. It opens with the bracha, a very generally-termed promise of the good things that will happen if we follow G-d’s Will. Then, it tells of the bone-chilling tochacha, the five stage admonition that tells us in very specific and not uncertain terms what will […]

Emor/Yom Ha’atzma’ut- The Sanctity of Modern Mo’adim

In the midst of a parsha focused on the physical guidelines and standards for kohanim, the fourth aliyah changes topics a little bit, tangentially discussing the holidays of our people, the first time in the entire Torah that they are all listed together (and the first appearance of all of them, except for Pesach). The section opens: וַיְדַבֵּר ה’, […]