Monthly archives for December, 2014

Va-y’chi (And he lived)

A look at the book of Genesis

Genesis 47:28 to 50:26 As finish the book of Genesis, I look back at the major people we have observed and see what we can learn from their lives. This week’s parsha begins with these words: “Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for 17 years; Jacob’s days – the years of his life – […]

Vayigash – Torah In Haiku

Passover Seder Book

  Jacob’s descendants … One granddaughter is mentioned … Serach bat Asher — Genesis 46:8-27 includes a list of Jacob’s children, and their children. Israel’s wives and daughter Dinah are included. But the only female named among more than 50 grandchildren is Asher’s daughter Serach (46:17) . She is also mentioned among those who left […]

Vayigash (He approached)


Genesis 44:18 to 47:27 Joseph is sold into slavery and adopts Egypt as his new home. However, he retains his faith in God and may be the first Jew to live in Diaspora. The parsha opens as “Judah approached him (Joseph – his brother) and said, ‘By your leave, my lord, please give your servant […]

Mikeitz – Torah In Haiku

​ ​After two long years … Pharaoh’s cupbearer speaks up … Tells about Joseph — “When we were in jail … A Hebrew youth was with us … Interpreted dreams” — When he interpreted the cupbearer’s dream in last week’s portion, Joseph said, “think of me when all is well with you again, and do […]

Mikeitz (At the end)

Genesis 41:1 to 44:17 Dreams are a major part of the Joseph saga. Torah tells us that God is the source of the dreams. As Joseph’s story unfolds we see how he uses these dreams to improve his life and the lives of those around him. This is the second parsha in the four parsha […]

Vayeishev – Torah In Haiku

Jacob is deceived … Brothers don’t know Joseph’s fate … Convince dad he’s dead — The plot twists in the Joseph story are dramatic enough for a soap opera – or a Broadway musical. Since for many people the stage show is how the story is remembered, it’s probably worth noting that Andrew Lloyd Weber […]

Vayeishev (And he settled)

Jacob's children

Genesis 37:1 to 40:23 The focus is now on Jacob’s children. Most of the action centers on Joseph. A brief interlude features Judah who will play a major part in Joseph’s future. “Jacob now settled in the land of his father’s sojourning, in the land of Canaan.” (Gen. 37:1) This parsha actually begins the story […]

Vayislach – Torah In Haiku

VAYISHLACH (וישלח) MY NAME IS JACOB … BUT THE STRANGE MAN, HE TELLS ME … MY NAME’S ISRAEL — שמי יעקב אבל האיש אומר לי שמי ישראל After they wrestle, the anonymous stranger tells Jacob, “Your name will no longer be said to be Jacob, but Israel” (Gen 32:39). However, as we continue to read […]

Vaylishlach (And he sent)


Genesis 32:4 to 36:41 Jacob wrestles with an angel and receives a new name – Israel – “One who wrestled with God and man and prevailed”…. But, a look at Jacob’s life shows that this change is not a benefit for Jacob. After twenty years, Jacob is returning home to Canaan. He knows he will […]

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