Author Archives: igplotzk

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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Miketz (Gen. 41:1-44:17), 6th day of Chanukah (Num. 7:42-47), Rosh Chodesh Tevet (Num. 28:9-15)

Three, count ‘em, THREE Torah readings this Shabbat!  Also Psalms 113-118, 104 and some changes/additions to the prayers. Why? Because the 6th day of Chanukah this year is both Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh Tevet (the first of two days marking … Continue reading

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Vayeishev (Gen. 37:1-40:23), Chanukah

Joseph: extremely gifted and extremely alone.   A brilliant outsider. Vayeishev is the first of four Torah portions that relate the Joseph story and bring us to the end of the book of Genesis.  My opinions of Joseph have varied a … Continue reading

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Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4 – 36:43)

This week, Jacob learns what happens when you try to go home again. I grew up in West Philadelphia.  Although we moved out in 1970, that is still in my memory as “home.”  My husband worked at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital … Continue reading

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