Monthly archives for December, 2015

Sh’mot (Names)

civil disobedience

Exodus 1:1 to 6:1 As we begin Exodus, we read about two midwives who defy the Law of Pharaoh who ordered them to kill all Hebrew baby boys. In the first recorded case of civil disobedience, these women choose to follow the moral law (the law of God) over the law of the land. This […]

Va-y’chi – Torah In Haiku

  JACOB HOLDS GRUDGES … REUBEN, SIMEON, LEVI … ALL INCUR DAD’S WRATH — HE STILL PICKS FAVORITES … THE BROTHERS WILL PRAISE JUDAH … GOD WILL BLESS JOSEPH —   Chapter 49 of Genesis contains the final words of Jacob on his deathbed, with each son (except Simeon and Levi) addressed individually. Of particular […]

Vay’chi (And he lived)


Genesis 47:25 to 50:26 Jacob blesses Joseph’s two sons. This action starts a tradition that is still alive today and is demonstrated in the traditional blessing of our children on Shabbat.   The title – And he lived – refers to Jacob’s life. The first line of the parsha tells us that Jacob lived in […]

Vayigash – Torah In Haiku


  JACOB MEETS PHARAOH … TELLS HIM “MY YEARS HAVE BEEN FEW” … “MY LIVE HAS BEEN HARD” —   Genesis 47:8-9 Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How many are the years of your life?” And Jacob answered Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourn [on earth] are one hundred and thirty. Few and hard have been the […]

Vayigash (He approached)


Genesis 44:18 to 47:27 As the Joseph saga comes to its conclusion, we see two leaders emerge… The first, Judah is part of Israel’s family. He shows leadership by both repenting his past errors and confronting future problems. The second leader is Joseph, the first Jew in Diaspora. He becomes a national leader in his […]

Mikeitz – Torah In Haiku

  FAMINE IN CANAAN … JACOB SENDS SONS TO EGYPT … TO PURCHASE SOME GRAIN — THE STAGE IS NOW SET … FOR FAMILY REUNION … JUST AS GOD PLANNED IT? —   Famine hits the region but, thanks to Joseph’s plan to store grain during the years of plenty, there is food in Egypt […]

Mikeitz (At the end)


Genesis 41:1 to 44:17 Within the first two parshot of the Joseph saga, Joseph confronts three sets of dreams which illustrate both the concept and the different stages of prophetic dreams. Throughout history mankind has questioned the meaning, purpose, and possible application of dreams…. Are they a statement about the person having the dream? …. […]

Vayeishev – Haiku In Torah

Women in Torha

  POWERFUL WOMEN … TAMAR AND POTIPHAR’S WIFE … SEX AND DECEPTION — This week’s haiku should not be considered sexist condemnation of the tactics used by both Tamar and Potiphar’s wife in different stories from this week’s Torah portion. After all, deception was common among our patriarchs. From Abraham’s request that Sarah say she’s […]

Vayeishev (And he settled)


Genesis 37:1 to 40:23 An example of Levirate law where a brother marries his deceased brother’s widow appears in this week’s text. As the rights and independence of women advanced through the ages, this practice has almost disappeared. The parsha begins with a single line stating that Jacob settled in Canaan, the land where his […]

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