5 Minute Torah

What's In Your Pit?

Parashat Vayeishev begins the story of Joseph. When we first encounter him, he is a seventeen year old young man. We learn that his father, Jacob, had a special love for him above all of his eleven brothers. He was loved so much that his father had given him a special and highly recognizable garment that distinguished him from among his brothers. This disproportionate love stirred up jealousy from his brothers and fostered their resentment toward him. That resentment eventually turned to a genuine hatred of Joseph and caused his brothers to plot to do away with him.

The Eternal Life of Sarah

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

This week’s Torah portion begins by giving us the lifespan of Sarah.

And these were the life of Sarah: one hundred years, twenty years and seven years; the years of the life of Sarah. (Genesis 23:1)

Since this portion is titled Chayei Sarah, “The Life of Sarah,” we would expect to read more about the life of Sarah. But the very next words we read are, “And Sarah died.” It’s not quite what we expect of our Torah portion.

Partnering With God

Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

Partnering With God

First Light

Parashat B'reisheet (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

Parashat B’reisheet is always filled with fascination and intrigue whenever we study it. There are so many facets of the Creation account to explore that it would take a lifetime to begin unraveling them. For instance, on the first day of Creation, we read about the creation of light:

Two Witnesses

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

This week’s Torah portion is only a single chapter long. The Ha’azinu, the Song of Moses, spans all fifty-two verses of our Torah portion. When reading this parashah, there are several questions that come up. We will only have time to answer a few at this time. 

First, in a Torah scroll the Song of Moses is written in two columns, rather than one. Why does this passage merit this unique rendering? The song opens with the words:

A Recipe For Rebellion

Parashat Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30)

Parashat Vayelech, one of the shortest portions in the Torah, is only thirty verses long. However, if we look carefully, we can find within it a recipe for rebellion:

For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death! (Deuteronomy 31:27)

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