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Bitter or Better

Parashat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)

A Candle In The Darkness

Genesis 41:1-44:17

Nearly every year Parashat Mikeitz is read in conjunction with the celebration of Hanukkah. Can we find any parallel or insight in this week’s Torah portion that relates to Hanukkah? A few of our rabbis (particularly Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg) have brought insight into this correlation. Our parashah tells us:

What's In Your Pit?

Parashat Vayeishev begins the story of Joseph. When we first encounter him, he is a seventeen year old young man. We learn that his father, Jacob, had a special love for him above all of his eleven brothers. He was loved so much that his father had given him a special and highly recognizable garment that distinguished him from among his brothers. This disproportionate love stirred up jealousy from his brothers and fostered their resentment toward him. That resentment eventually turned to a genuine hatred of Joseph and caused his brothers to plot to do away with him.

Say Little. Do Much.

When Yeshua was walking this earth, he was continually teaching his disciples his interpretations of Torah. He continually emphasized repentance and loving both our Heavenly Father and our neighbor through our actions and not merely our feelings. This naturally leads us to Shammai’s teaching in Pirkei Avot. Shammai taught his disciples, “Say little and do much” (Avot 1:15). According to the Talmud the wicked say much and do little, but the righteous say little and do much. An example is given of Abraham and how his deeds exceeded his words: 

The Eternal Life of Sarah

Parashat Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

This week’s Torah portion begins by giving us the lifespan of Sarah.

And these were the life of Sarah: one hundred years, twenty years and seven years; the years of the life of Sarah. (Genesis 23:1)

Since this portion is titled Chayei Sarah, “The Life of Sarah,” we would expect to read more about the life of Sarah. But the very next words we read are, “And Sarah died.” It’s not quite what we expect of our Torah portion.

Our Father Abraham

Parashat Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-22:24)

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