5 Minute Torah

The Cup of Redemption

Parashat Va'era (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

When it was time for the LORD to deliver the Children of Israel from Egypt, God poured out His judgments on Egypt to demonstrate His power and allow time for the Egyptians to repent. But before any of this took place, the LORD made multiple promises to the Children of Israel for what He was about to do:

Who Am I?

Parsashat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)

Who Are These?

Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

When Jacob was one hundred and forty-seven years old, he realized his life on this earth was coming to an end. He called Joseph to him and made him swear that, when Jacob departed from this life, Joseph would not bury his body in Egypt but take it back to Canaan and bury it there. Later, when Joseph understood the severity of his father’s illness, he brought his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to his father so that he would bless them. Jacob tells Joseph:

The Power of Hope

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

In this week’s Torah portion, we learn about the reunion of Joseph and his family. How appropriate for the name of the portion to be called Vayigash, which means, “and he came near.” After a long period of being apart from his family, Joseph was able to come near his family. Not only did Joseph reveal himself to his brothers after the long wait for his plan to succeed, but he was also reunited with his father who had given up hope of Joseph’s survival years beforehand.

The Grand Illusion

Parashat Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)

Everyone enjoys a good magician. They appear to do what seems completely impossible. Although they can entertain people for hours on end, the craft of a magician is based on illusion and misdirection. They draw our attention to one thing in order to distract us from another. If they want us to watch what one hand is doing, then the other hand is doing the real “magic.” If they point at an object, it’s generally misdirection. But we don’t mind this. In fact, we pay money to be misguided and have our point of view misled.

A New Identity

Parashat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4[3]-36:43)

Stairway To Heaven

Parashat Vayeitze (Genesis 28:10-32:3[2])

This week’s Torah portion begins with one of the most mysterious and little-understood events recorded in the Torah. When Jacob spent the night in what he later calls Beit-El, he had a curious dream charged with spiritual import:

The Ancient Paths

Parashat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

Parashat Toldot gives us the backstory of the conflict between Jacob and Esau. It tells of their birth in the account of Jacob coming out with one hand holding onto Esau’s heel, Esau selling his birthright, and Jacob receiving the blessing of the firstborn from Isaac (albeit in an underhanded manner). It also gives us some interesting information about Isaac and his life. When he settled in Gerar, he needed a source of water. Rather than digging new wells, he unearthed the wells his father had dug:

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