Parsha Vayishlach: What Happens When Things Go Out of Control

Hi everybody. I hope this finds you all in good health and good spirits. The portion of the torah that we read this week is a continuation of Yaakov’s (Jacob) journey to becoming Israel.  It includes the reconciliation of him and his brother Esau, and the destruction of the city of Schem, the death of Yaakov’s parents and his wife Rachel, and ends with Esau moving to make room for Yaakov, which is followed by a strange, repetitive listing of … Continue reading

Parsha Vatetze: Taking Responsibility and Letting Go

The parsha (Torah portion) for this week , along with the beginning of the next week’s parsha, gives us a blueprint for how to live and interact with people.  There are 3 scenarios that the Torah looks at:   How do you deal with someone who changes the rules on you, How to deal with somebody who accuses, and What to do when you are feeling threatened.  The latter scenario is in next week’s parsha, so maybe I will talk about … Continue reading

Parsha Toldot: Getting Off the MerryGoRound

This week’s parsha (Torah portion) is called Toldot (generations in English). Let’s look at what this word, generations, means. Generations implies cycles, and cycles are circles. Each generation is born, lives, and dies. That is its cycle or circle. However, before a generation dies, it creates a new generation, turning the circle into a spiral. I find it strange to call this parsha Generations when most of this parsha talks of one generation and prior parshas have also mentioned lineages … Continue reading

Parsha Chayei Sarah: Going Up or Going In

This week’s parsha (Torah portion) has a lot in it.  A very quick summary goes like this:  Sarah dies and Abraham buys the cave called Macpelah to bury Sarah in.  Then he sends his servant Eli-ezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak (Isaac).  After Eli-ezer returns with Rivka (Rebecca), Abraham dies and Yishmayil and Yitzchak bury Abraham next to Sarah in the cave called Macpelah. What is interesting about the name of the cave is that it comes … Continue reading

Parsha Vayera: Making Amends

This week’s parsha (portion of the Torah we read this week) is called Vayera.  It has a lot in it including the destruction of Sdome and Gemorah, and the roots of where King David.  However, none of those things are what I feel like talking about today. Today, I want to talk about one of the lesser known things that I found interesting in our parsha:  The story regarding Abraham, Sarah, and Avimelech (which translates to, “My father the king,” … Continue reading