Weekly Torah Reading Resources

Yosef and His Brothers: Lessons for Israel in Time of War

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz Things are not always as they seem. In the story of Yosef in Bereshis, we discover Yosef’s unique approach to his brothers. Instead of quickly revealing himself to them, Yosef chooses a longer path. Until the revelation to his brothers, Yosef responds to them by accusing them of being spies, takes his brother Shimon into ...

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Yosef’s Lesson: Combating Indifference Today

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz When Yosef reveals himself in Egypt, he says, “I am your brother Yosef, whom you sold into Egypt” (Bereshis 45.6). However, as Rashbam comments on (Bereshis 37:28), the brothers did not directly sell Yosef. Instead, while they were eating some distance from the pit, Midianites passed by, extracted Yosef from the pit, and sold him ...

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Better and Worse People as the Jews Head to Exile

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat VaYeshev The description of the cupbearer and baker’s dream phrases their experience oddly, 40;5, they dreamed a dream, the two of them. In normal Hebrew, the word sheneihem, the two of them, should be next to the verb, vayachalmu, they dreamed. HaKetav VeHaKabbalah thinks it means they each dreamed what both of them dreamed. Seeing Their Own Future and Others’ ...

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The Eternal Hatred: Lessons from Yaakov and Esau

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz “And Esau ran to meet him, and he embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” (Bereshis 33:4) וַיָּ֨רׇץ עֵשָׂ֤ו לִקְרָאתוֹ֙ וַֽיְחַבְּקֵ֔הוּ וַיִּפֹּ֥ל עַל־צַוָּארָ֖ו וַׄיִּׄשָּׁׄקֵ֑ׄהׄוּׄ וַיִּבְכּֽוּ׃ רשי  “ויחבקהו. נִתְגַּלְגְּלוּ רַחֲמָיו, כְּשֶׁרָאָהוּ מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה כָּל הִשְׁתַּחֲוָאוֹת הַלָּלוּ: וישקהו. נָקוּד עָלָיו; וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִין בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה בַּבָּרַיְתָא דְּסִפְרֵי, יֵשׁ שֶׁדָּרְשׁוּ נְקֻדָּה זוֹ שֶׁלֹּא נְשָׁקוֹ בְּכָל ...

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Religious Inspiration in Response to Crisis

by R. Gil Student I. Aliyah in Response to Crisis We learn from Ya’akov that the common response to danger, to plead with God, is proper. People promise to become better if they or their loved ones survive the crisis. They genuinely grow in religious devotion. Sometimes this growth lasts and sometimes it disappears as life returns to normal. If ...

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Truth and Treachery? Israel and Her Enemies

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz Truth and Treachery? Israel and Her Enemies – Discerning Between Genuine Peace Seekers and Deceptive Pretenders In this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Vayeitzei, we learn of the trials and tribulations of Yaakov Avinu. One of the most striking aspects of Yaakov’s life was that he only married at 84 years old, remarkably late compared to ...

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Lessons on Dealing with a Hypocrite

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat VaYetzei The comment from HaKetav VeHaKabbalah I chose for this week highlights how hard it can be to spot hypocrisy, at least in Scripture. Lavan’s Skillful Self-Defense In chapter 31 of Bereshit, Lavan berates Ya’akov for fleeing, taking Leah and Rachel as if captives of war, accuses Ya’akov of stealing Lavan’s idols, and checks the whole camp. When ...

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