Mikeitz 5775-2014

“Why Did Joseph, the Viceroy of Egypt, Never Contact His Aged Father?”

Joseph had already served for nine years as the second most powerful person in Egypt when his brothers come to Egypt to buy food. Why hadn’t the all-powerful Joseph previously contacted his family in Canaan, or at least informed them of the impending famine?

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Mikeitz 5771-2010

"Joseph’s Bold Advice to Pharaoh"

The commentators are troubled by Joseph’s temerity. How does a young Hebrew slave boy, a prisoner, have the chutzpah to instruct the great Pharaoh how to save his country and its citizens from impending famine?

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Mikeitz 5770-2009

"Pharaoh's Dream: The Variations and Nuances"

When it comes to the bible, the story is often in the details. The repetitious narrative of Pharaoh's dreams is an important source of new information about Pharaoh, Egypt and Joseph's subsequent interpretation of Pharaoh's dream.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Toledot 5770-2009

"The Jew Under the Microscope"

Jewish material success in the diaspora has often resulted in resentment of the Jew. This principle is clearly articulated in Isaac's successful endeavors in Grar and his subsequent expulsion.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Vayigash 5764-2003

"The Secret of Jewish Survival in Exile?"

From Jacob's plans to bring his family to Egypt to be with his long-lost son Joseph, we learn a profound lesson about Jewish continuity. Jacob sees to it that the people of Israel will be securely ensconced in Goshen, the suburb of Egypt, that is to be their new home. What Jacob regards as essentials for the survival of his family in his day, are truly timeless needs that Jews must meet in every one of the lands that Jews call home.

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Shavuot 5763-2003

"The Remarkable Legacy of Ruth, The Righteous Convert"

The Book of Ruth could easily pass for a stirring love story. However, the Book of Ruth is far more. It is, in fact, the volume that introduces some of the most exalted philosophical and theological concepts known to humankind. It was Ruth the Moabite who restored the virtue of chessed, loving-kindness, to the people of Israel.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Toledot 5763-2002

"The Deeds of the Fathers are Signposts for the Children"

In parashat Toledot we read for the third time the story of our patriarchs going to Egypt or to Gerar on account of famine. This time it's Isaac and Rebecca, rather than Abraham and Sarah, but the stories are virtually identical to the previous two. The famed Italian Bible scholar, Umberto Cassuto, suggests that this story is a paradigm, and its frequent repetition is predictive of what will happen to the Jewish people in the future. There will be a famine, and the families of the descendants of Abraham and Isaac will leave Canaan and go into exile. The men will be threatened with death, but the women will be allowed to live. Eventually, the people will go out with great wealth.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Passover 5761-2001

"The Final Days of Pesach--Days of Unity"

For Jews who live in the Diaspora, the last day of Passover is meant to be a day of unity, hit'chab'root, of coming together. Just as the ancient Children of Israel go down into Egypt as 70 souls, as members of 12 disparate tribes and emerge as one united nation, so are contemporary Jews bidden to emphasize what common bonds we have, rather than the differences. Passover, after all, is in the month of Nissan, the month of redemption. Only through unity will the Jewish people be fortunate enough to achieve ultimate redemption.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes