Parashat Shemot

This week’s portion, Shemot, which opens the book of Exodus, is a very rich one. And while we often refer to it as “Exodus,” this book and the portion in Hebrew is known as Shemot—“names.” The portion begins with a listing of the sons of Israel (Jacob) who have now become the tribes. It first […]

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Vayigash 5771

Each day it gets darker earlier in the evening. As the sun sets in the late afternoon, things seem to get quieter, more subdued. The lack of sunlight seems to bring a type of mellow melancholy to the end of the day as we don our jackets heading out into the crisp evening air. But […]

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Israel Needs Our Help

As Shabbat approached in Israel, the fire near Haifa was still raging out of control. At least 43 people have lost their lives, 17,000 residents in the area have been evacuated and the flames are moving toward Haifa University and Haifa neighborhoods. The Jewish National Fund, to whom many of us have given or received […]

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Parashat VaYeshev

Rabbi Shelton Donnell & Esther Edelsburg With our portion begins the story of the continuation of the people of Israel.  “Now Jacob settled in the land of his father’s sojourning, the land of Canaan.  This is the line of Jacob: Joseph was seventeen years old and tended the flocks with his brothers, as a helper […]

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Vayishlach 5771

Night is supposed to be the time that we are able to lay our heads down and rest. A time to let go of everything from the day, rest our bodies in order that we may rise up in the morning, renewed and refreshed in order to begin a new day. We recite the blessing, […]

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Parashat Vayetzei

Do you believe in dreams or angels?  Have you ever walked the aisles of the New Age section of the bookstore, embarrassment of being seen in front of the tarot cards or Sylvia Brown novels? Admittedly, I spent lots of time as a teenager in the more “eccentric” parts of Barnes & Noble, contemplating dream […]

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Parashat Toledot

In this week’s parashah, Toledot, we see an endless portrayal of sibling rivalry between Jacob and Esau. This rivalry ends in trickery, Jacob getting his way several times while reversing the order of the way things might have otherwise been. He receives the blessing from his dying father meant for his brother, and in what […]

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Parashat Vayera

Parashat Vayera includes the story of the Akeidah, or the binding of Isaac, one that has been a struggle for many to comprehend.  If you had asked me when I was younger what was my favorite story to hear from the Torah, it was this one.  And, I was always excited to hear it read […]

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