Tag Archives: Ishmael

Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

This week: a rare peaceful interlude in the stories of biblical family life. [For tension and intrigue, see the accompanying haftarah, 1 Kings 1:1-31, in which David is dying and his throne, promised to Solomon, is usurped by another son, … Continue reading

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Vayeira (Genesis 18:1 – 22:24)

(2016 comments, lightly edited) This is not a G-rated Torah portion.  We start with a nice little story of Abraham’s hospitality, as he recovers from his circumcision, to three strangers. They turn out to be angels who confirm that Abraham … Continue reading

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Lech L’cha (Genesis 12:1 – 17:27)

Now that we’ve got all the universal stuff out of the way, we begin the story of the Jewish people with the first of the patriarchs, Abraham (How many of you remember a little book we read in Hebrew school … Continue reading

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Rosh Hashanah 5780

One of my earliest non-work electronic pastimes was sharing jokes by email.  20 years ago, I sent some Rosh Hashanah jokes to a bunch of friends.  Then came Yom Kippur humor.  After Simchat Torah, I sent out some jokes related … Continue reading

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Toldot (Genesis 25:19 – 28:9)

Isaac, Rebecca, Esau, and Jacob: the prototypical dysfunctional family.  Sibling rivalry, blatant parental favoritism, a breakdown of communication between husband and wife, taking advantage of the infirmity of an old man.  And lots of scheming. This portion should be Isaac’s, … Continue reading

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Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

Chayei Sarah (חַיֵּי שָׂרָה) means “life of Sarah.”  The Torah portion actually begins with Sarah’s death at the age of 127.  (Tradition has it that she died of shock, from either horror at the thought that Abraham would sacrifice their … Continue reading

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Vayeira (Genesis 18:1 – 22:24)

(From 2015) As so we continue the demonstrations of “family values” in Genesis.  This week, in Parashat Vayeira, we have instances of duplicity, pimping, seduction, incest, attempted second degree murder, the expulsion of a woman and her son into the wilderness … Continue reading

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