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Shnayim Mikra provides a verse-by-verse review of the parsha in seven weekly installments, corresponding to the seven aliyos. Insights and commentary are provided by master educators familiar from the OU's Nach Yomi, including Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Rabbi Menachen Leibtag, Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom, Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein, and others.

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Lech Lecha – Shishi
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G-d told Avram that He took him from Ur Kasdim to give him Canaan as an inheritance. Avram worried that he or one of his descendants might do something to disqualify themselves, so G-d made a pact with Avram to “seal the deal.” He had Avram take a variety of animals and birds. G-d then […]
Lech Lecha – Chamishi
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The king of Sodom (who had been conquered and whose captured booty was regained by Avram) asked for the captives as his share, offering Avram the material wealth for his trouble. Avram declined to take anything – “even so much as a shoelace” (verse 23) – so that the king would not be able to […]
Lech Lecha – R’vi’i
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Around this time, there was a war of four local kings versus five local kings. (Their names are in verses 1-2.) They battled in a valley that is now the Dead Sea (more foreshadowing). The basis of the conflict was that the five kings had all served Chedarlaomer (one of the four kings), but now […]
Lech Lecha – Shlishi
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Avram had many flocks and so did Lot, so resources were stretched thin between the two of them. The shepherds who worked for them often clashed, so Avram told Lot that he could choose which direction to go and Avram would take the other. Lot selected the Jordan plain eastward, towards a place called Tzoar, […]
Lech Lecha – Sheini
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Avram’s traveling party came to Egypt, where, sure enough, Sarai’s beauty attracted attention. Word got around until it reached the Pharaoh, who ordered her brought to him. Avram was treated well for Sarai’s sake and Pharaoh had Avram showered with wealth. But… Pharaoh had still abducted a married woman, so G-d struck his entire household […]
Lech Lecha – Rishon
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G-d told Avram to leave his hometown and his father’s house in Ur Kasdim; G-d would show him the place where He would make Avram into a great nation. G-d would bless Avram and those who bless him; conversely, He would curse those who curse Avram. The whole world would be blessed through Avram. So […]
Noach – Haftarah
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A verse in the middle of the haftarah (54:9) refers to the promises God is making to the Jewish people as similar in some way to the waters of Noah. (The exact similarity is a matter of debate, as we discuss in the essay on the haftarah of Parshat Ki Tetsei; it either means that […]
Noach 7 – Shvii
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Back in the day, everyone spoke one language. (This makes sense, as everyone was descended from the three sons of Noach.) The people settled in the Shinar valley in what would later become Babylonia. There, they had what they thought was a spectacular idea: they conspired to build a city with a tower that would […]
Noach 6 – Shishi
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Noach’s three sons were named Shem, Cham (Ham) and Yefes (Japheth). Cham’s son was named Canaan. (Clearly, this was some time later, as Canaan was not yet born while they were on the boat.) Noach planted a vineyard and made wine. On one occasion, he became drunk and undressed in his tent. His son Cham […]
Noach 5 – Chamishi
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G-d forged a pact with Noach and his descendants, as well as with the animals and birds of the world. He committed not to strike the world with a universal flood ever again. As a sign of this commitment, G-d placed His rainbow in the clouds. The rainbow serves as a reminder that, while He […]