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The Grand Illusion

The Grand Illusion

Parashat Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)

Wrestling for a Blessing

Parashat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:3-36:43)

When Jacob and his family were leaving Laban in Paddan-aram and heading back to Canaan, Jacob began preparing for the inevitable. He would undoubtedly have a run-in with his brother Esau once they got nearer to home. Although twenty years had passed since he left with Esau’s birthright, Jacob was preparing his family for their encounter with his brother. He prayed to the Almighty, “Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children” (Genesis 32:11). He knew that, although time and distance were between them, there was no guarantee that Esau would allow bygones to be bygones. He seriously believed that Esau might attempt to exterminate his entire family, so he devised a plan for the survival of at least some of them.

Stairway To Heaven

Stairway To Heaven

Parashat Vayeitze (Genesis 28:10-32:2)

This week’s Torah portion begins with one of the most mysterious and little-understood events recorded in the Torah. When Jacob spent the night in what he later calls Beit-El he had a curious dream charged with spiritual import:

Unlocking The Secret To Immortality

Unlocking The Secret To Immortality

Parashat Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-22:24)

Imitating God

Parashat Vezot ha'Brachah (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12) 

A fundamental concept within Judaism is that we are to imitate God in certain ways. This concept is known as imitatio Dei, or imitation of the Divine. We can see this pattern in several places in the Scriptures, but one of the most explicit is Leviticus 19:2. It says, “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” We imitate Hashem’s holiness, His uniqueness, when we imitate His deeds. 

For example, we read about God clothing Adam and Eve in their nakedness. Just as God clothes the naked, so should we give clothes to those who need them. We see the LORD sending three angels to visit Abraham immediately after his circumcision (Genesis 17–18). Just as God visits the sick, so should his children visit those who are ill. Just as Hashem watches over the orphan, the widow, and the sojourner, we are to do likewise (Deuteronomy 10:18–19).

The Torah And The Resurrection

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

In the days of our Master Yeshua, the Pharisees and the Sadducees debated the certainty of the resurrection. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead, whereas the Sadducees rejected this concept. The reason for the debate was that the Torah does not explicitly mention any kind of resurrection. However, passages within the Torah seem to point to a resurrection. A few of these passages are found within the last two Torah portions. Last week we read:

Parashat Re'eh Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

Erasing The Name

As we have seen many times previously, the Torah has many levels of understanding as well as application. This week’s portion is no exception. Toward the beginning of our reading we learn of the LORD’s command to the Israelites to obliterate the idols and the high places of the Canaanites when they enter the land given to their ancestors:

Parashat Ekev - Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

The Second Coming of Torah

Sometimes we wonder why things happen the way they do. Why do things have to go terribly wrong before they can be made right? Why do things have to break before we tend to them the way we should have in the first place? In this week’s parashah we are reminded of this very fact. As Moses is recounting to the Israelites the various events leading up to their present situation, he recalls the story of the original giving of the Asaret Had’varim, the Ten Sayings (also known as the Ten Commandments):

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