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Dec 21, 2018, 10:47 AM
Accompanied by God
This week's portion, with the deaths of Jacob and Joseph, marks the end of a family saga and of an era. This is also Jacob's swansong, the end of a long, mostly unhappy life of the Bible's main tragic...
Dec 14, 2018, 2:14 PM
Part of a Grand Plan
One of the cleverest and most successful men in Jewish history, Joseph sheds much insight on Jewish life in the Diaspora. Unlike his brother-counterpart Judah, a leader who acts courageously and nobly in the moment, Joseph has a knack...
Dec 7, 2018, 7:56 AM
Honesty in the Face of Adversity
This week’s portion is filled with high drama: Joseph is rushed out of jail to interpret Pharaoh’s dream; he is immediately appointed Number 2 over all of Egypt to oversee preparations for seven years of famine; when the famine...
Nov 29, 2018, 6:25 PM
Prototypes of the Diaspora Jew and the Jewish Leader
After making peace with his brother Esau, this week's portion opens "Jacob dwelt in the land of his fathers, in the Land of Cannan." He can finally settle down. Or so we would like to think. The text continues:...
Nov 22, 2018, 9:01 PM
Striving with God
This week's portion is the climax of Jacob's struggle/life/life-struggle: after 20 years with treacherous Laban, he returns home. It was 20 years ago that Jacob fled for his life from Esau, who wanted to kill him for stealing his...
Nov 14, 2018, 7:47 PM
The Bible portion opens as Jacob begins his journey from his parents' house to his uncle Laban – both to escape from his brother and to find a bride; it is as if he is starting afresh, beginning a...
Nov 6, 2018, 4:47 PM
From where you are to where you’re supposed to be
If in last week's portion we saw God recede to the background, in this week's portion, with the story of Isaac and his family, things really begin to fall apart. God's great promise to Isaac of blessing and abundance...
Oct 31, 2018, 7:29 PM
When God Moves to the Background
This week's portion marks an important shift in the Biblical narrative: the character of God, until now always at the fore, recedes to the background. God's covenant with Abraham sealed, Abraham's love/faith in Him proven, the stage is set...
Oct 25, 2018, 9:16 PM
Does He Really Love Me? God Asks
In this week's portion, we are confronted with one of the most difficult philosophical / theological stories in the Bible: the near-sacrifice of Isaac. Non-comprehension is an important, even a critical element in understanding the "nature of God" or, to...
Oct 15, 2018, 11:40 AM
Believe in God or in Reality?
This Bible portion begins with a bang. God says to Abram (he gets a name change only later on): Go "to the land I will show you and I will turn you into a great nation… and all the families...
Jacob Dallal, who lives not far from where Jonah set sail in Jaffa to escape God, is writing on the Bible portion, focusing on its characters, especially on the character of God.