Monthly archives for November, 2015

Vayishlach – Torah In Haiku


DINAH IS AVENGED … JACOB SAYS “IT’S A SHANDE” … BROTHERS DISAGREE —   It’s a story not often told in Sunday school. Jacob and Leah’s daughter Dinah is defiled by Shechem (Genesis 34:2), who then says he loves her and wants to take her as his wife (34:4) Despite their father’s silence, Jacob’s sons […]

Vayishlach (And he sent)


Genesis 32:4 to 36:43 Jacob returns to the home of his parents after 20 years. He is fearful of the future and the reactions of his brother. However, after a mysterious encounter with “a man,” a new Jacob emerges with a new name – Israel, greater confidence, and the ability to lead his large household. […]

Vayeitzei – Torah In Haiku


JACOB MAKES A VOW … IT MIGHT BE CONDITIONAL … OR IT MIGHT NOT BE — While dreaming “Ba Makom” (at a certain, unnamed “place”) Jacob is told by God, “Remember, I am with you: I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you […]

Vayeitzei (And he left)


Genesis 28:10 to 32:3 Jacob makes Torah’s first vow to the Eternal…. One would expect a vow that is deeply reverent; but, Jacob offers a conditional vow filled with doubt. Torah scholars question this lack of faith and offer possible explanations. This week’s text starts immediately after the events of last week’s parsha. Jacob has […]

Tol’dot – Torah In Haiku

Jacob and Esau

​ ESAU THE WILD ONE …. FAVORED BY FATHER ISAAC …. GIVES UP HIS BIRTHRIGHT — JACOB THE MILD ONE … FAVORED BY MOTHER RIVKAH … OBTAINS THE BIRTHRIGHT —   Gen 25:27-34 Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the outdoors; but Jacob was a mild man who stayed in camp. Isaac favored Esau […]

Tol’dot (Descendents)


Genesis 25:19 to 28:9 This week we have two story lines – the story of Isaac’s twin sons – Jacob and Esau… and the story of Isaac and his wife Rebekah where Rebekah shares, and ultimately sets, the future course of the Jewish people. I would like to base my comments this week on two […]

Chayei Sarah – Torah In Haiku

Chayei Sarah

THE LIFE OF SARAH … ONE HUNDRED YEARS, TWENTY  YEARS … SEVEN YEARS, HER LIFE — The first verse of this week’s portion, according to many (most?) translations, is ” Sarah’s lifetime, the span of Sarah’s life, came to one hundred and twenty-seven years.” But a more accurate translation of the Hebrew would be “Now […]

Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah)

Chayei Sarah

Genesis 23:1 to 25:18 After the near-sacrifice of Isaac and the death of Isaac’s mother Sarah, Abraham decides it is time to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham’s servant is sent to back to the homeland of Abraham and Sarah to find the ideal bride. The title of the parsha is “The Life of Sarah;” […]

Vayeira – Torah In Haiku


WHERE DID ISAAC GO … WHEN THE AKEDAH ENDED? … TO HIS FAMILY —–   The last mention of Isaac during the akedah comes as Abraham prepares his son for sacrifice: Genesis 22:9-10 They arrived at the place of which God had told him. Abraham built an altar there; he laid out the wood; he […]

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