Parsha Vayichi: Communicating for Life

I hope everybody is doing well.  This week we finish the book of Genesis or Breisheit as it is referred to in Hebrew.  We also saw the end of Jacob/Israel and Yoseph.  Before Israel passes from us, however, he does give us some final pointers on how to interact with people. The parsha (weekly Torah portion) starts out with Yaakov/Jacob knowing he is near death and so he asks his son Yoseph to swear to bury him at the ancestral … Continue reading

Parsha Vayigash: Let’s talk Torah

The reason I decided to put, “Let’s talk Torah,” in the title is because the parsha (Torah portion of the week) is all about talking.  Yehuda (Judah) tells Yoseph (Joseph) his side of the story of how they got into the predicament they are now in.  Yoseph tells his brothers how he came to be running things in Egypt, the brothers tell Yaakov (Jacob) that Yoseph is still alive, Pharaoh tells Yoseph to send wagons for his family, the family … Continue reading

Parsha Meekaytz: Harvest Time

I hope everyone is having a wonderful, en-lightening Hanukkah.  While the the flame still glow, I hope to fan it with the Torah portion (parsha) that coincides with those flames… The parsha is called Meekaytz and one of the meanings of this word is harvest.  I want to look at the parsha from this point of view. In order to harvest, you must plant something.  And as the saying goes:  you reap/harvest what you sow/plant.  the parsha starts right out … Continue reading

Hanukkah: It’s All About Trust

Hanukkah started tonight; so, I thought I would share a thought or two about it. Why did the sages make Hanukkah a holiday? The obvious answer is the two miracles:  defeating the Greeks and the oil lasting 8 days.  However, we have had other miracles like these that the sages did not turn into holidays:  Joshua stopping the sun and the defeat of Cicero two name just two.  So why did the sages make a holiday of Hanukkah? The answer … Continue reading

Parsha Vayishev: Fate or Free Will

Hanukah begins just as Shabbat is going out.  This reminds me of what rabbi Aaron, the rabbi of a shul I prayed at when I was in Jerusalem, said a few years back.  He shared how Hanukah is a time of juxtaposition between the individual and the community.  I want to take it a step further; I want to talk about the juxtaposition of free will and fate.  Now before anyone asks about free will versus haShem (God) being all … Continue reading