A Local Source of Energy – Parashat Vayechi

A Local Source of Energy – Parashat Vayechi

“….And yosef died at the age of one hundred and ten years, and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt….” – Bereishit 47:26 ״….וימת יוסף בן מאה ועשר שנים ויחנטו אותו ויישם בארון במצרים…״ – בראשית מז, כו Upon concluding the reading of any of the five books of the Torah, the entire community customarily calls out, […]

December 29, 2017 at 1:00 AM

A Tale of Two Coffins – Parashat Vayechi

A Tale of Two Coffins –  Parashat Vayechi

“….And his sons carried him….” – Bereishit 50:13 ״….וישאו אותו בניו…״ – בראשית נ,יג Rashi notes that Yaakov’s coffin was carried by all but two of his sons, Levi and Yosef, who were replaced by Menasheh and Ephraim instead. “Levi shall not carry it because he (i.e., his tribe) is destined to carry the Aron. Yosef shall not carry it […]

December 28, 2017 at 1:13 AM Comments are Disabled

If You Can Beat Them – Parashat Vayechi

If You Can Beat Them – Parashat Vayechi

The Midrash explains that the “man” that Shimon and Levi are said to have killed in their wrath is actually a reference to quite a few men: the entire adult male population of Shechem. Yaakov calls all of them “a man,” because they were like no more than one man before Shimon and Levi. What place does this tribute to […]

December 27, 2017 at 3:59 AM

Insider Information

Insider Information

“…And Yaakov called for his sons and said, “gather and i will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days.” – Bereishis 49:1 וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים – בראשית מט, א The Talmud (Pesachim 56a) explains that Yaakov sought to reveal to his sons the end of […]

December 26, 2017 at 2:26 AM

A Mother’s Sacrifice – Parashat Vayechi

A Mother’s Sacrifice – Parashat Vayechi

“…..I buried her there along the road to Efras, which is Bies-Lechem…..” – Bereishit 48:7 ״…..ואקברה שם בדרך אפרת היא בית לחם…״ – בראשית מח,ז Rachel’s burial place would naturally have been in Me’aras Hamachpela, alongside her husband. Instead, Rachel was buried on the roadside in order to hasten her children’s eventual return from exile, as explained in the Midrash.“When […]

December 25, 2017 at 1:37 AM

Made in Egypt – Parashat Vayechi

Made in Egypt – Parashat Vayechi

“…Now, your two sons who were born to you in Egypt before I came to you, to the land of Egypt, shall be considered mine; Ephraim and Menasheh shall be to me like Reuven and Shimon…..” – Bereishit 48:5 ״…ועתה שני בניך הנולדים לך בארץ מצרים עד בואי אליך מצרימה לי הם אפרים ומנשה כראובן ושמעון יהיו לי….״ – בראשית מח, […]

December 24, 2017 at 2:09 AM

The Urgent Need for Change – Parashat Vayigash

The Urgent Need for Change – Parashat Vayigash

“…Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, “so said your son, Yosef: G-d has made me master over all of Egypt. Come down to me, do not tarry….” – Bereishit 45:9 ״….מהרו ועלו אל אבי ואמרתם אליו כה אמר בנך יוסף שמני אלוקים לאדון לכל מצרים רדה אלי אל תעמוד…״ – בראשית מה, ט Twenty-two years […]

December 22, 2017 at 2:11 AM

No Pain, No Gain

No Pain, No Gain

“…Do not be afraid of going down to Egypt, for there i will make of you a great nation. – Bereishis 46:3 אַל תִּירָא מֵרְדָה מִצְרַיְמָה כִּי לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל אֲשִׂימְךָ שָׁם – בראשית מו, ג As Yaakov and his family made their journey to Egypt, G-d appeared to Yaakov and told him: “Do not be afraid of going down to Egypt; […]

December 21, 2017 at 1:09 AM

Surviving or Thriving?

Surviving or Thriving?

“…And he saw the wagons that yosef had sent to carry him, and the spirit of Yaakov their father revived. and Yisrael said: “it is much; yosef my son is still alive; i will go and see him before i die.” – Bereishis 45:26-27 וַיַּרְא אֶת הָעֲגָלוֹת אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח יוֹסֵף לָשֵׂאת אֹתוֹ וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם: וַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל רַב עוֹד […]

December 20, 2017 at 2:30 AM

One Track Education

One Track Education

“…He sent Yehuda ahead of him to yosef, to prepare goshen in advance…” – Bereishit 46:27 ואת יהודה שלח לפניו אל יוסף להורת לפניו גשנה ויבאו ארצה גשן – בראשית מו, כח Yaakov sent Yehuda to Egypt to establish a place of Torah study and education in Goshen before the rest of the family arrived. Why was it necessary for […]

December 19, 2017 at 2:15 AM

A Time to Weep – Parashat Vayigash

A Time to Weep – Parashat Vayigash

“….And he fell on his brother Binyamin’s neck and wept, and Binyamin wept on his neck….” – Bereishit 45:14 ״….ויפל על צוארי בנימין אחיו ויבך ובנימין בכה על צואריו…״ – בראשית מה, יד When Yosef and Binyomin were finally reunited, they fell on each other’s necks in embrace and wept. Rashi explains that Yosef and Binyomin cried because they prophetically […]

December 18, 2017 at 4:08 AM

Got Faith, Won’t Travel

Got Faith, Won’t Travel

“…And Yaakov saw that there was grain being sold in Egypt. Yaakov said to his sons, “why should you purport [to be content]?” – Bereishis 42:1 וַיַּרְא יַעֲקֹב כִּי יֶשׁ שֶׁבֶר בְּמִצְרָיִם וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב לְבָנָיו לָמָּה תִּתְרָאוּ – בראשית מב, א When hunger came upon the Land of Canaan, Yaakov encouraged his sons to travel to Egypt to buy grain. According […]

December 13, 2017 at 2:50 AM

How Low Can You Bow? – Parashat Mikeitz

How Low Can You Bow? – Parashat Mikeitz

“….And he had him ride in his chariot of second rank, and they called out before him, ‘Avrech – The king’s patron’ – Appointing him over the entire land of Egypt….” – Bereishit 41:43 ״….וירכב אתו במרכבת המשנה אשר לו ויקראו לפניו אברך ונתון אתו על כל ארץ מצרים….״ – בראשית מא, מג Rashi cites an alternative interpretation for the […]

December 11, 2017 at 4:56 AM

Living the Dream – Parashat Mikeitz

Living the Dream – Parashat Mikeitz

“….At the end of two years, it came to pass that Pharaoh was dreaming…..” – Bereishit 41:1 ״….ויהי מקץ שנתים ימים ופרעה חולם…״ – בראשית מא, א Yaakov’s move to Egypt with his family was brought about by a series of dreams. Yosef’s dreams caused his brothers to hate him and sell him as a slave, and his eventual owners brought […]

December 10, 2017 at 3:49 AM

Filled with Emptiness – Parashat Vayeishev

Filled with Emptiness – Parashat Vayeishev

Our Sages teach that water is a metaphor for Torah (Bava Kama 17a). In view of that, we can understand why the presence of snakes and scorpions (in the pit where Yosef was thrown) is hinted in the Torah with the superfluous phrase “there was no water in it,” instead of the verse stating explicitly that the pit was inhabited […]

December 6, 2017 at 5:09 AM

Dreaming to Toil

Dreaming to Toil

“…And behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field – bereishis 37:7 וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ מְאַלְּמִים אֲלֻמִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׂדֶה – בראשית לז, ז Yosef and Pharaoh both had dreams involving grain. A noticeable difference between these two dreams, however, reflects the fundamental disparity between what each of them represents. Yosef’s dream opened with a scene of toil. In his […]

December 5, 2017 at 2:04 AM

A Jew and His Dreams – Parashat Vayeishev

A Jew and His Dreams – Parashat Vayeishev

  Both of Yosef’s dreams foretold that one day his family would bow before him, but the imagery in the two dreams was not identical. The subjects of his first dream were from the plant kingdom: eleven sheaves of wheat bowed to his sheave. In the second dream, his family was represented by the solar system: the sun, the moon […]

December 4, 2017 at 2:51 AM

Between Pebbles and Pearls

Between Pebbles and Pearls

Rashi’s parable of a person searching for a pearl lost in the sand also alludes to the Jewish people’s task in the lands to where we have been exiled: to sift through “the settlements of Eisav.” The search for the pearl symbolizes our mission to find the holiness—the G-dly meaning and potential—hidden within the mundane world with which we are […]

December 3, 2017 at 2:01 AM

The Jewish Way in Responsible Adulthood

The Jewish Way in Responsible Adulthood

  Shimon and Levi are each referred to in this verse as איש, a man. The Midrash calculates that this story took place barely thirteen years after the birth of Levi, the younger of the two brothers, and yet Levi is called a man, indicating that at the age of thirteen he had the emotional maturity of a grown man. […]

November 29, 2017 at 2:30 AM

You Should Really Get Out a Bit

You Should Really Get Out a Bit

Dinah’s socialness was inherited from her mother, explains Rashi. The Torah’s association of these two women who “went out” suggests that their presence in the public arena was considered excessive by the Torah’s standards of modest conduct. Despite the value of a lesson in feminine dignity, this interpretation seems contrary to the Torah’s trademark sensitivity. Would the Torah make a […]

November 28, 2017 at 3:08 AM