Parashat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43)

“Esau said, ‘I have plenty. Let what you have remain yours.’” (Genesis 33:9) This week’s perspective on the weekly parasha is dedicated to the memory of Shmuel Benalal, z”l, a Jewish educator instrumental in the establishment of the Mandel Center for Jewish Education, who was killed in the Mali hotel attack. Yehi Zichro Baruch. May […]

Parashat Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3)

“Shaken, he said, ’How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God and this is the gate of the heavens.’” (Genesis 28:17) Parashat Vayetzei describes Jacob’s flight from Canaan to Haran to escape Esau’s anger. His uncle Lavan tricks him into working fourteen years to marry his two daughters, Leah […]

Parashat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:8)

“Esau said, “Look, I am going to die, so of what use to me is the birthright?” (Genesis 25:32) Parashat Toldot introduces Esau and Jacob, twin brothers whose rivalry begins in the womb (Gen. 25:22) and haunts them into adulthood. Ultimately, their differences turn them into archtypes, symbols of evil (Esau) and good (Jacob) in […]

Parashat Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

“And afterward, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan. “(Genesis 23:19) Parashat Chayei Sarah describes the first crisis of Jewish continuity. Abraham must find a wife for Isaac to fulfill God’s promise to become a “great nation.” (Gen. 12:2) […]

Parashat Vayera (Genesis 18:1-24)

“He planted an eshel in Beer Sheva and there he proclaimed Adonai’s name, God of the Universe.” (Genesis 21:33) Parashat Vayera includes a series of high-stakes encounters: the three strangers/angels who predict Isaac’s birth (Gen. 18:1-15), the destruction of Sodom and Gemorah (Gen. 19:12-29), and the akeidah, or the binding of Isaac (Gen. 22:1-19). Each […]

Parashat Lekh Lekha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

“As for Me, this is my covenant with you: you shall be a father of a multitude of nations.” (Genesis 17:4) Parashat Lekh Lekha documents the next step in God’s learning how to steward the world (which is now twenty generations old). God’s new strategy is to partner with one family instead of with all […]

Parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

JCC Association joins with rabbis and leaders of the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist movements and the Conference of Presidents in declaring this weekend, October 16 – 17 (Parshat Noach), as a special Sabbath of Solidarity with Israel. We encourage JCCs to incorporate Israel into their weekend programming and show support for our brothers and […]

Parshat B’reishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

“The man names his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.” (Genesis 3:20) Parashat B’reishit stands as a timely commentary on the recent and recurring violence in American life. Cain and Abel, the world’s first brothers, both make offerings to God. God accepts Abel’s, but not Cain’s. So Cain kills Abel. […]

Parashat V’Zot Habracha (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12)

“…I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross there.” (Deuteronomy 34:4) The present moment is where past and future meet and always is a negotiation between the two. Parashat V’zot Habracha telegraphs that message loud and clear. V’zot Habracha is the last parasha, or portion in Deuteronomy and […]

Parashat Ha-azinu (Deuteronomy 23:1-32:52)

“For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his own allotment (Deut. 32:9) Parashat Ha-azinu is the next-to-last parasha, or portion, in the Torah. It is read either right before or right after Yom Kippur, a period of introspection and reflection. Ha-azinu describes God’s greatness and Israel’s stubborness. It is both hard and easy to relate […]

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