Monthly Archives: December 2017

Vayekhi (Genesis 47:28 – 50:26)

Is Joseph in ancient Egypt like a Jew in 21st century America?  He is successful, respected, even publicly honored, and moves freely in Pharaoh’s inner circle.  Yet he is still a Hebrew, and thus “outside”.  His brothers are kept geographically … Continue reading

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Vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27)

We have reached the climax of the Joseph story.  Judah eloquently pleads to Joseph on Benjamin’s behalf, emphasizing the pain his remaining in Egypt would cause his father and offering himself as a substitute slave.  At this, Joseph reveals his … Continue reading

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Miketz (Gen. 41:1 – 44:17), 4th day of Chanukah (Num. 7:30-35)

We know from the Joseph story that repetition is a sign of a dream’s significance.  I have had some classic recurring dreams myself; e.g., it’s the end of the semester and I have done absolutely none of the course work, … Continue reading

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Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1 – 40:23)

Why Joseph? Though this week’s portion starts out, “And Jacob settled in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan” Joseph immediately takes center stage.  Except for the story of Judah and Tamar (the purpose of which … Continue reading

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Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4 – 36:43)

This week, Jacob goes home. When I was growing up, “home” meant a refuge from the outside world.  During my first year of college, it also meant food and TV.  Later, it meant a temporary respite from at-times-overwhelming grad school … Continue reading

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