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Articles

Vayeshev

Parashat Vayeshev
 
Joseph1

December 2012

In this week’s Sedra, Vayeishev, we are told of the incident of the selling of Joseph.  This was another in the long list of trials for Jacob.

Poor Jacob.  After all his other ordeals (see previous parsha sheets) all that he wanted to do was live in peace in the land where his father had been merely a stranger.  He felt that he had a right to a serene existence.  However, Divine Providence had a different plan. 

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Vayechi

Parashat Vayechi
 
jacob-sees-joseph-again-in-egypt

This week’s Sedra starts off with Jacob, at the end of his life, calling to his beloved son Joseph, and asking him not to bury him in Egypt (where they had lived together for the last seventeen years).  He uses unusual language: “Please - if I have found favour in your eyes”.

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Vayishlach

Parashat Vayichlach
 
Jacob Esau
 

This week’s Sedra starts with Jacob sending messengers to his brother Esau.  The Midrash tell us that these messengers were in fact angels.  How do we know?  In true Jewish style, let me answer with a question: which human would agree to meet Esau on behalf of Jacob?

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Miketz

Parashat Miketz

“At the end of two years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing over the Nile”

Joseph Pharaoh

These words introduce this week’s Sedra, Miketz.  Poor Joseph is stuck in prison.  The Midrash, commenting on the beginning of the sedra, opens with a verse from the book of Job: “He sets an end to darkness”.  What do these words have to do with Pharaoh?  The Midrash answers us by saying that everything has an end, including the trials inflicted on man.  Joseph had to suffer in prison, forgotten by everyone, for twelve seemingly interminable years.  His situation must have appeared almost hopeless.  Only his belief and faith in G-d could help him bear such a cruel ordeal.

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Vayeitzei

Parashat Vayeitzei
 
Jacobs-Ladder

November 2012

This week's Sedra, Vayeitzei, starts off with Jacob journeying away from his family after having aroused the anger of his brother Esau for 'taking' the blessings from his father Isaac.  The verse states that as he was journeying towards Charan, he 'encountered the place'.  Our Rabbis inform us that G-d is called "The Place" ("Hamakom") and that the Hebrew word 'encounter' often means prayer. 

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