Parashat Veyechi

Genesis 47:28-50:26; 1 Kings 2:1-12; John 13:1-19 The Torah predicts a warrior-Messiah who will battle against Israel's enemies and a peaceful Messiah who will bring world peace. The Lion of Judah symbolizes both. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him up? (Genesis 49:9) Jacob compared the future victory and ascension of Judah to a lion resting after a kill. He compared Judah’s enemies to the lion’s slain prey. A parallel prophecy in the Torah says the lion “will not lie down until it devours the prey, and drinks the blood of the slain” (Numbers 23:24). Like a sleeping lion, satiated after th

Parashat Vayigush

Saturday 23 December 2017 Tevet 5 5778 Parashat Vayigush By Dr. Vered Hillel, Netanya, Israel Genesis 44:18–47:27; Ezekiel 37:15-28; Luke 24:30-48 “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” (Gen 45:3). With these words, the estrangement between Joseph and his brothers that began with the words, “They hated him and could not speak a friendly word to him” (Gen 37:4), comes to an end. The narrative of Joseph and those he impacted (Gen 37–50) is the longest unbroken narrative in the Torah. We see him as the beloved, coddled child, as an adolescent dreamer hated by his brothers, as a slave, as a prisoner, and then as the second most powerful r

Parashat Miketz

Genesis 41:1-44:17; 1 Kings 3:15-4:1; Luke 24:13-29 This Too Is for the Good The life of Joseph demonstrates God's sovereign hand in human lives. Though the world seems to follow a completely random course around us, God is actually working out His purposes in the midst of it. From Joseph's point of view, there was no reason to suspect that God had his best interests in mind. Joseph had been kidnapped and betrayed by his own brothers, sold into Egypt as a slave, falsely accused of attempted adultery and imprisoned in a dungeon. His life seemed to be following Murphy's Law of "if anything can go wrong, it will." So far, everything had gone wrong. Joseph stubbornly clung to an unshakable confi

Parashat Vayeshev

Genesis 37:1-40:23; Amos 2:6-3:8; Matthew 1:18-25 This parasha tells the story of Jacob's son Joseph and how he was removed from the land of Canaan and dwelt in Egypt. The narrative follows Joseph from Canaan to Egypt to prison. In addition, this week's reading contains the interesting story of Judah and Tamar, his daughter-in-law, the wife he took for his firstborn son Er. Judah and Tamar settled on the price of a young goat for services rendered. Since Judah did not have the goat with him, he offered Tamar some collateral. He asked her, “What pledge shall I give you?” She said, “Your seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand” (Genesis 38:18). Judah’s seal, cord, and staff amo

Parashat Vayishlach

Saturday 2 December 2017 Kislev 14 5778 Parashat Vayishlach Jacob's Sukkah FFOZ edrash Genesis 32:3-36:43; Hosea 11:7-12:12, Obadiah 1:1-21; Matthew 2:13-23 Jacob spent more than twenty years in Aram, a place in Mesopotamia. Jacob’s sojourn in Aram symbolizes the exile of the Jewish people from the land of Israel. His return to Canaan symbolizes the return of the Jewish people from exile. As Jacob and his family returned to the holy land, they descended the Jabbok Canyon and arrived at a location east of the Jordan called Succoth. Biblical geographers tentatively identify the site with a high mound called Tell Deir Alla on the plain

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