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Jan 3, 2018, 11:03 PM
To rebel in defense
Witness the curse of wild rebellion: “Their wares are weapons of murder. In their conspiracies, let not my soul enter. Into their congregations, let not my honor be joined.” These are the words I heard in synagogue last Saturday listening...
Dec 29, 2017, 6:49 PM
2017: A year for surprise
Jacob dwells for 17 years with his sons in Egypt prior to his passing. Is it conceivable that he never spoke with them about their deceptive presentation of Joseph’s bloody tunic to him so many years earlier? Although the...
Dec 29, 2017, 9:32 AM
The First Zioness
Since it's my bar mitzva portion, I'm quite partial to this week's reading, Parashat Vaychi (Genesis 47:28-50:26). It's far more poetic and fast-paced than its predecessors as it describes Jacob's passing. However, the final chapter does drag a bit,...
Dec 29, 2017, 12:32 AM
What’s in a name?
This week, he turned 19! That means it’s been six years from one of the most awe-inspiring and humbling experiences of my life – and the reverberations remain. This story really began over a decade earlier. It’s a tale...
Dec 28, 2017, 11:46 PM
How to Use Your Hands to Change Lives
Vayigash, 5778 (:לעולם אל תהי ברכת הדיות קלה בעיניך (מגילה ט"ו Never take the blessing of an ordinary person, lightly. Every cell of the body is attached to a Divine source and is nourished by the soul. As such we hold wisdom...
Dec 28, 2017, 1:25 PM
When the comforts of exile end in the blink of an eye [Parshat Vayechi]
Why does the normally flashy, confident Grand Vizier of Egypt make such a meek request to Pharaoh to bury his father in his family’s ancestral homeland? Does the number two figure in the most powerful nation on earth, who...
Dec 27, 2017, 4:42 PM
Vayechi: The Missing Ten Tribes
Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future. -Hannah Arendt The term “Jew” is derived from Judean, meaning descendants of Judah. But Judah was only one of the sons of Jacob, only one of the tribes of Israel. Our...
Sharona Margolin Halickman
Dec 26, 2017, 10:06 PM
The significance of being buried in Israel
In Parshat Vayigash, we learn that 70 souls moved down to Egypt (Goshen) as immigrants. They acquired property, were fruitful and increased greatly. It seems like B’nai Yisrael (Yaakov’s children) did very well in Egypt. They adjusted to their new...
Ariel Ben Avraham
Dec 24, 2017, 10:23 PM
Parshat Vayechi: Solving the Jewish identity crisis (IV)
“And Joseph said to his brethren, ‘I die; but God will surely remember you, and bring you up out of this land unto the land which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob’.” (Genesis 50:24) We said in...
Jan 19, 2017, 7:24 PM
Have You No Decency? Midrash and the Centrality of Love
The following is adapted from a d’var Torah given at a gathering of congregational presidents and rabbis at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a Reconstructionist Synagogue in New York. “If I have found grace in your sight, don’t...