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Jewish Journal

Torah portion: Naming names

by Rabbi Judith HaLevy

January 7, 2015 | 10:10 am

Rabbi Judith HaLevy. Photo by Dana Fineman

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... read full article

  • 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...
  • 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...

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  • 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,...

  • Torah portion: Dream a little dream

    by Rabbi Michael Barclay

    November 25, 2014 | 9:21 am

    “Although I have hidden my face from Israel, I will communicate with him through dreams” (Bavli, Chagigah 5b).

    This week’s portion begins with Jacob’s famous dream: “He dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, and behold the angels of...

  • Torah portion: Seeing the forest for the trees

    by Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik

    November 19, 2014 | 11:49 am

    Sequoia trees are some of the largest and oldest trees in the world. Whenever I visit Sequoia National Park, I am awestruck that the trees under which I stand were seedlings when the Temple still stood in Jerusalem. I marvel at what it must take for something to live that long. 

    ...

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