Weekly Torah Portion

In this week’s parsha, Vayetze, Yaakov, after his dream of the ladder stretching from heaven to earth, is given a series of blessings by God. These include the statement that Yaakov’s “descendants will be as the dust of the earth, and you will break forth, to the west, the east, the north and the south, and all the families of the world will be blessed by you and your descendants.” The promise that his descendants will be like the dust of the earth was originally given to Yaakov’s grandfather, Avraham.


Previous Torah Portions

One of the things I’ve noticed about the current, ongoing, sexual harassment issue is the role that place plays in all this. “He invited me up to his hotel room”, “He took me to his apartment”, “He asked me to come to his office”, etc., etc.
Typically, we make a big deal of Avraham’s obeying God’s commandment and leaving his home for an unknown destination. This behavior is meant to highlight Avraham’s obedience to and trust in God, and his willingness to sacrifice the comforts and certainties of the known for the unknown destiny which God had in store for him.
The news over these past couple of weeks has been so full of villains, charlatans, and fools, and the parsha of Noach, what with the flood and all, lends itself so well to a finger-wagging posture (one of my favorites), that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Jewish Holidays

Sukkot: Being There

In Jewish trivia games – of a certain type – there is a well-known question: what Mitzvot (commandments) can be done by just being somewhere?

Jewish Life Cycle

One of the most important mitzvoth in the Torah is called the מת מצוה (met mitzvah) – a deceased person whom it is a commandment to bury.

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Every week, parshaoftheweek.com brings you a rich selection of material on parshat hashavua, the weekly portion traditionally read in synagogues all over the world. Using both classic and contemporary material, we take a look at these portions in a fresh way, relating them to both ancient Jewish concerns as well as cutting-edge modern issues and topics. We also bring you material on the Jewish holidays, as well as insights into life cycle rituals and events...

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