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Rabbi Weinreb’s Parsha Column, Vayigash
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One thought, and one thought only, preoccupied me that evening while I was in the car on the way to the weekly session of the class I was leading on the subject of basic Jewish concepts in the book of Genesis. I knew that this was the next to last class in the series and that soon I would have to be saying goodbye to Leon, Richard, and Simon. I wondered whether they too were similarly preoccupied, anticipating that the class would soon be over.
Parshat Vayigash: Yosef reveals his identity
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“And Yisrael and all that was his set out and came to Be’er Sheva, and he slaughtered sacrifices to the God of his father Yitzchak. And Hashem said to Yisrael in visions of the night, and He said, “Yaakov, Yaakov!” And he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “I am God, the God of […]
Parshat Vayigash: Yitzchak descends to Egypt
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“And He said, “I am the Omnipotent G-d of your father. Do not be afraid to go to Egypt, for it is there that I will make you into a great nation.” (Beresheit 46:3) Yosef asks his father to descend to Egypt with his entire family. Yitzchak decides to travel to Egypt with his family. […]
The Theme and Message of Chanukah
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During the Second Temple period when the Hellenist kings ruled, they made decrees against Israel and suppressed their religion. They did not permit them to study Torah and perform mitzvot. They seized their wealth and their daughters. They entered the Sanctuary, breached its walls, and defiled the objects of purity. Israel was greatly afflicted by […]
The Pain of the Past
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After years of trauma and suffering, Yosef’s fortunes change dramatically for the better as he is catapulted to greatness. The names he chooses for his two children reflect two approaches to the pain of the past. The name of his first child, Menasha, is linked by the Torah to the Hebrew word Nashani, which means […]
The Author of our Lives
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It was Joseph’s first real attempt to take his fate into his own hands, and it failed. Or so it seemed. Consider the story so far, as set out in last week’s parsha. Almost everything that happens in Joseph’s life falls into two categories. The first are the things done to him. His father loves […]