Monthly archives for November, 2014

Vayeitzei – Torah In Haiku

Ladder to Heaven

​ Alone, on the run … Using stones as his pillows … Jacob goes to sleep — His dream, a vision … With angels on a ladder … And God above it — Arising, he says … “Surely God is in this place … But I did not know” — From Genesis 28:11-16 [Jacob] placed […]

Vayeitzei (And he set out)

Genesis 28:10 to 32:3 Each of the three traditional daily prayer services are said to be based on the actions of our patriarchs. The Ma’ariv – evening service – had its beginnings in Jacob’s dream experience recounted in this week’s text. “And Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. Coming upon a certain place, […]

Tol’dot – Torah in Haiku


​ Rebekah, pregnant … Twin sons struggle inside her … “Why do I exist?” — Soon enough, she knows … G-d says Jacob will prevail … Mom must make it so — As she feels her unborn sons fighting in her womb, Rebekah wonders “If this is so, why do I exist?” (Genesis 25:22). G-d […]

Tol’dot (Records)

Genesis 25:19 to 28:9   Isaac and Rebekah represent the Second Generation. Many commentators feel Isaac is only a link between Abraham and Jacob. However, given that Isaac and his wife keep the faith alive to pass on to the next generation, they both are important. Following are the opening words of this parsha: “This […]

Chayei Sarah – Torah in Haiku

Cave of Machpelah

    ​ Isaac’s mother dies … Isaac’s dad finds him a wife … Isaac is consoled — Isaac’s father dies … Isaac’s brother mourns with him … Isaac, blessed by God — Genesis 24:67 Isaac brought [Rebekah] to his mother Sarah’s tent … and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. Genesis 25:9,11 [Abraham’s] […]

Chayei Sarah (Life of Sarah)

Cave of Machbpelah

Genesis 23:1 to 25:18 Even though the first words of this week’s text tell of Sarah’s death, the entire portion tells how the actions of Abraham continue the lifelong work of his wife, Sarah. “Sarah lived to be one hundred years and twenty years and seven years. Sarah died in Kiriatharba (that is Hebron) in […]

Vayeira – Torah In Haiku

Hineini - I am here

    G-d says: Abraham … Abraham says: Hineini … I’m here, I’m ready — Isaac says: Father … Abraham says: Hineini … I’m here, I’m ready — Angel: Abraham … Abraham says: Hineini … I’m here, I’m ready — When G-d commands Abraham to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22:1), when Isaac calls his father […]

Vayeira (And He -the Eternal appeared...

Binding of Isaac

Genesis 18:1 to 22:24 Although Torah doesn’t tell us much about Abraham’s early life, we learn much about his later life and total devotion to God. How would this characteristic be regarded in today’s world? The parsha Vayeira tells us a great deal about Abraham and his relationship to God, his family, and those around […]

Lech L’cha – Torah In Hai...

Lech L'cha

Uncle and nephew … Avram, his brother’s son Lot … Go their separate ways —   Lot chooses poorly … Leaves Canaan to his uncle … Settles in Sodom —   There is some Divine foreshadowing in this week’s parsha. To avoid conflict over limited resources, Avram suggests to Lot they continue their travels separately. […]

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