Monthly Archives: January 2020

Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)

Locusts. Palpable darkness. The first seder.  The slaying of the firstborn. Exodus. Laws. (That’s this week’s Torah portion. If you want, you can now skip to the jokes.) Of the last three plagues, the plague of locusts, which devour everything … Continue reading

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Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

Dam, tzifarde’ah, kinim, arov, dever, sh’chin, barad.  Blood, frogs, lice, flies/gnats/swarms of little flying things, cattle plague, boils, hail.  The first seven of the 10 plagues.  Why don’t I feel any excitement, any sense of  “Oh boy!” or any desire … Continue reading

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Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)

A malevolent government that feels threatened by an ever-growing group of thriving immigrants. Defiant women who resist official cruelty.  A young man whose temper forces him to hide for decades.  And God, who catches the now old man’s attention as … Continue reading

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Vayekhi (Genesis 47:28 – 50:26)

No “happily ever after.”  Jacob doesn’t forgive his sons.  They forgive neither themselves nor Joseph. Joseph does not say he has forgiven his brothers.  Joseph continues his life as Zaphenat-Paneah, in but not of the royal court, and as Joseph, … Continue reading

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Vayigash (Genesis 44:18 – 47:27)

Why are we spending so much time on Joseph?  He’s not a patriarch.  He doesn’t emerge as the family’s leader; that’s Judah.  His sons do not become major players, nor do his descendants long term; they’re part of the 10 … Continue reading

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