Vayechi- weekly Torah portion

When Jacob meets Pharaoh for the first time, as we have read in last week’s portion, Pharaoh asks Jacob “How many years have you lived?” to which he responds to with, ““The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.” In this week’s portion of the Torah we read an interesting description, “Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.” It seems that Jacob has a clear distinction between what he considers actual living in comparison of simply sojourning. It is the time of h

Vayigash- weekly Torah portion

The best laid out plans, even those that are life savers at one time, may have less the desirable results later in time. Joseph’s basic plan was an excellent plan and had many positive ramifications in the short term. It entailed the collection of surplus of the foods grown during the seven year period of plenty as it is known that there are going to be another period of seven tough years of major shortage. These seven years of famine get there fast, “there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe”. It is time to report to Joseph and get back some of the food that was accumulated so that those who have worked hard for that during the good years will be able to take adv

Mikets- weekly Torah portion

Dreaming dreams is good, being able to decipher them is an excellent trait, but greatness comes with the ability of doing something with the dream and not just leaving it just as an unturned stone in the field. Joseph is confronted with two of the pharaoh dreams. One dream, having two portions, appears to be a good one, “from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass… behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good.” Each portion of the dreams also continues with less favorable outcomes, “seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and gaunt, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. The ugly and gau

Vayishlach - weekly Torah portion

We feel that something odd is happening when we read this week’s portion of the Torah. We first read about Jacob “was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” Jacob does not have the faintest idea with whom he was wrestling an

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