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Torah Talk for Parashat B’Shalach

January 17, 2019 by Jake Singer-Beilin (Faculty and Staff)

This week is Shabbat Shirah. On this Shabbat, we read Parashat B’Shalach, a section of the book of Exodus which contains the Song of the Sea – the song that Moses, Miriam, and the Israelites sang when they made the unlikely and miraculous transition from slavery to freedom. Soon after this Shabbat is over, the […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Bo

January 9, 2019 by Jake Singer-Beilin (Faculty and Staff)

This week’s parasha, Bo, continues the story that we know so well from the Pesach seder. The Israelites are slaves in Egypt, and Moses is sent to free them. Last week, in Parashat Vaera, we saw the first 7 of the 10 plagues. This week we read about the final three plagues, including makkat b’chorot […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Vaera

January 2, 2019 by Jake Singer-Beilin (Faculty and Staff)

In this parasha, God commands Moshe and Aharon to bring B’nei Yisrael out of Egypt and deliver them from slavery. They receive the message that God will free them, and yet, their spirits still remain heavy. In the middle of the narrative, we find a genealogy of Reuven, Shimon, and Levi, which also includes the […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Shemot

December 27, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Bnei Yisrael become slaves to Paro; Paro’s daughter saves Moshe from the Nile and, after killing an Egyptian taskmaster, Moshe flees to Midian where he marries and has children; Hashem instructs Moshe to liberate the people; Moshe returns to Egypt, and Moshe and Aharon approach Paro, who refuses their request for liberation. […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayechi

December 18, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yaakov blesses his sons on his deathbed and asks them to bury him in Cana’an. Vayechi is the last parasha in Sefer Bereshit, the Book of Genesis. The Book began with universal themes of the creation of the human being, corruption, destruction, and renewal. It then narrowed its focus and centered on […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayigash

December 11, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yosef reveals his identity to his brothers, prompting the entire family to move to Egypt, where Yosef reunites with his father, Yaakov. Why did God arrange for the Israelites to end up in Egypt? In Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:20, the text refer to Egypt as “cur habarzel” (an iron furnace). This description of Egypt as […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Miketz

December 4, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yosef interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and is appointed to implement Egypt’s anti-famine plan. This brings him into contact with his brothers again, as they come to Egypt to buy food. It is remarkable how much of the Torah and how much of our lives revolve around food. The first human sin, that of […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayeshev

November 26, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yosef’s dreams anger his brothers, and they sell him into slavery in Egypt, where he eventually ends up in prison interpreting others’ dreams. Most of us are familiar with the story of Yosef and his brothers, his journey to Egypt, his run-in with Potiphar, and his interactions in prison with the baker […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayishlach

November 19, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yaakov confronts Eisav, wrestles with a “man” who blesses him by changing his name to Yisrael, loses his wife Rachel in childbirth, and experiences the trauma of the incident with his daughter Deena. The Torah and the rabbis place great import on the meaning of a name. We first learn of the […]

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayetzei

November 13, 2018 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yaakov flees to his uncle Lavan’s household and lives there for several years, marrying Lavan’s daughters, Leah and Rachel, and establishing a large family. This is the beginning of a section of the Torah about which we can quote Bible scholar Andrew Lloyd Weber: “Strange as it seems, there’s been a run […]