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Jewish Journal

  • Torah portion: Does Elijah really visit your seder table to sip wine?

    by Rabbi Dov Fischer

    2 weeks ago

    We all know the imagery at the seder: It is late in the evening. Everyone has eaten lotsa matzah. We have drunk several cups of wine, talked about freedom from bondage and extrapolated the discussion to apply to subsequent historical moments. 

    The children have sung Mah Nishtanah...

  • Torah portion: Naming names

    by Rabbi Judith HaLevy

    3 weeks ago

    We begin the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom not with a tale of heroism and miracles, but with a list of names.

    V’eleh shemot b’nai Yisrael. These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob …” (Exodus 1:1)

    After Jacob...

  • Torah portion: A good death

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    December 30, 2014 | 9:43 am

    It was a good death. 
     
    Jacob had finished all that was left to do. He gave his son Joseph explicit instructions about what he wanted when he died: “When I lie down with my ancestors, have me taken out of Egypt and be buried in their burial place.”
     
    He had the chance to...
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  • Torah portion: Economic, moral and ritual choices

    by Rabbi Dara Frimmer

    December 17, 2014 | 1:23 pm

    At the beginning of Parashat Miketz, Pharaoh dreams of cows and grain; the healthy, sturdy specimens are consumed by the thin and gaunt. Joseph is remembered as a dream-interpreter and released from prison in order to serve Pharaoh. 

    Joseph explains that seven years of abundant...

  • Torah portion: Father and son

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    December 10, 2014 | 1:56 pm

    Communication between Jacob and Joseph was sparse, and the dynamic between them was less than exemplary. The first time we hear Joseph speaking to his father, he is gossiping about his brothers. Jacob does not respond. Instead we are told, “He loved Joseph more than all his...

  • Torah portion: As long as you’re trying, you’ve won

    by Rabbi Eliyahu Fink

    December 3, 2014 | 10:50 am

    “Newsies” is coming to the Pantages Theatre in the spring. Parashat Vayishlach is coming to a shul near you this week. What’s one got to do with the other?

    There is a pivotal moment during “Newsies” that captures something I’ve felt in our parasha. The Newsies are scared. They...

  • Torah portion: Israel’s story

    by Rabbi Tal Sessler

    December 3, 2014 | 10:35 am

    Our Torah portion tells the story of Jacob’s return to the land of Israel. In harmony with the rabbinic dictum of “ma’ase’e Avoth siman lebanim” (the chronicles of the patriarchs reflect the fate and destiny of future generations), our parasha also reflects our own path from exile,...

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