Parsha Va-ayra: Perseverance, Trust, and Process

As we open the Torah and start to read this week’s parsha (portion), we find ourselves in the throws of the 10 plagues that god has sent against Egypt.  HaShem (god) sends them all because god won’t let Pharaoh let a bunch of slaves go out on a 3 day journey to make a sacrifice to their god.   What in the world is haShem trying to tell us with these events?  Let us look into these events a little more … Continue reading

Parsha Shmot: A Torah on Obligations

Hello my friends and welcome to Names! Ok, for some of you, welcome to Shmot (which means names in Hebrew), and is the name of this week’s parsha (Torah portion), as well as the name of the second book of the Torah (which some of you know as Exodus).  In it we find the beginnings of our hero Moshe (Moses).  So, let’s not waste another minute.  Let’s jump right in… The parsha begins with us recounting who came with Yaakov … Continue reading

Parsha Vayichi: The Torah Ends an Era

This week’s parsha (Torah portion) marks more then the end of the first book of the Torah.  It also marks the passing of an era.  We start by discovering Yakov (Jacob) is dying and we end with the death of Yoseph (Joseph). Both of these have something in common:  neither want their remains left in Egypt.  We do not hear of this request from anyone else.  And interestingly, the parsha is entitled Vay’chi which can mean he lived or he … Continue reading

Parsha Vayigash: A Torah Reunion

Welcome from Eugene, Oregon, where, even though it is below freezing and there is talk of snow, we are ready to rejoin our heroes.  The parsha (weekly Torah portion)  from last week ended with Yoseph (Joseph) ready to take Benyamim (Benjamin) because it appeared that  he had stolen Yoseph’s divination cup. This week’s parsha continues from this point with Yehuda (Judah) pleading with Yoseph to take him instead of Benyamim.  When Yehuda finishes explaining why Benyamim is so important to … Continue reading