Vayetse - weekly Torah portion

Jacob was assigned with a task and he sets himself to the voyage towards Paddan-aram to find a wife for himself. The evening falls and he falls asleep and dreams. In his dream, “behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” The most common translation to the word “בּוֹ” (Bo) is “on it” however it does not seem to capture the essence of what is actually said and I would like to suggest that a better translation would be “therewith”. We see a hint to that in Midrash Rabah where two rabbis debate what this word “בּוֹ” really refers to. Rabbi Heya suggests that they are going “up and down on the ladder”

Toldot - weekly Torah portion

Two beginnings, Esau and Jacob. Two opportunities that when met brought about a profound change. A change that happened at a very particular point in time. Esau returns “from the field and he was famished”. Jacob, is a different kind of a guy, he was “a peaceful man, living in tents”, and was busy preparing some sort of food. Quite hungry after a hard days’ work Esau demands of his brother, “let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” This could have all ended very simply. Jacob could have poured some of the cooked stew in a bowl, and Esau would have felt content and probably also fall asleep; No drama and no story. However, Jacob is not that kind of peaceful man and h

Chaye Sarah - weekly Torah portion

After the death of Sarah, Abraham seeks a burial place for her, “and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, ‘I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a burial site among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight.’ The sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, ‘Hear us, my lord, you are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead.’” A sad moment in Abraham’s life continues with a demonstration of support to a grieving friend. When Abraham then speaks of a particular place owned by a particular person, Ephron tells him, “No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is

Vayera - weekly Torah portion

Abraham “was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day” probably busy doing some thing or another, and not paying particular attention to what was going around him. Suddenly he lifts up his eyes and notices that “three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth” adding, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not [pass Your servant by. Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and]rest yourselves under the tree”. He does not know these people, he has no idea if they are friend or foe but despite that, choosing between fear and seclusion and trust and inclusion he chooses

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