Parsha Toldot: Torah Tricks

This week our Torah portion (parsha) is called Generations (Toldot in Hebrew) because the parsha starts out by saying that these are the generations of Yitzhak (Isaac) son of Abraham.  It tells us of the difficult pregnancy Rivka (Rebecca) had and her giving berth to twins:  Asov (Esau) and Yakov (Jacob).  It quickly hints at the character of the two, and then tells the tale of how Yakov bought the birthright of the firstborn from a tired Asov for a … Continue reading

Parsha Chayei Sarah: Torah Reconcilliation

This week’s parsha (weekly Torah portions) is called Chayei Sarah.  The irony of the name is that the parsha begins with Sarah’s death.  It then tells how Abraham bought the cave in which he buried her (and he himself is buried along with a few other folk) which is in Hebron. After Abraham buries Sarah, he makes his servant Eliezer swear an oath to find a wife for Yitzhak (Isaac) from his family back where Abraham was born.  Eliezer (whose … Continue reading

Parsha Vayera: Torah of Self is Others

Welcome to the wacky world of the Torah.  This week we have lots of good action.  The parsha (portion of the week) starts out with haShem (god) appearing to Abraham at the Trees of Reflection, where Abraham has been camping.  God appears as 3 angels (the word for angel in Hebrew, mal’ach, means messenger) in the guise of men and Abraham begs them to stay for a foot washing and a meal. After they eat, the men/angels tell Abraham that … Continue reading

Parsha Lech L’cha: The Torah of Within

This week’s parsha (Torah portion) is called Lech l’cha which in Hebrew is a command to go to yourself.  The person giving the command is god and he is commanding Avram (who becomes Avraham later in this parsha).  What else is in the parsha, you ask?  A good question, and I am glad you asked. Let me share with you a quick summary:  God commands Avram to go to himself and from his homeland and the house of his father … Continue reading

Parsha Noach: The Man of Rest

The weekly Torah portion (parsha) for this week was called Noach which means rest. Why was Noach given that name? Perhaps because he, and his entourage of family and animals, as well as the land itself, did nothing but rest during the year of the flood. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s see what was in the parsha. The parsha starts off by saying that Noach was a righteous and simple man in his generations, and that he … Continue reading