Category: <span>Parasha</span>

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Yitro
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Yitro

COMBATTING LONELINESS “It was on the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood before Moses from morning to night. Moses’ father-in-law saw everything he was doing for the people, and said, ‘What is this you are doing, sitting alone, and the people stand over you from morning till night…You...

Shabbat Shira
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Shabbat Shira

Some trees only grow in warm climates like the Mediterranean; the olive tree is one of them. Scientists and archeologists believe it was likely on the Syrian-Turkish border that they were first cultivated. Its oleurpein compound makes it so bitter it is inedible. Yet once cured, its oils have such rich flavour. We don’t have...

Beshalach
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Beshalach

DIVINE DETOUR According to Google Maps to walk from Cairo to Jerusalem today would take less than 150 hours. As we know at the time of the Exodus, it took the Israelites forty years! The Torah tells us at the beginning of the portion that G-d did not lead the Israelites to their destination via...

Bo
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Bo

DID G-D GIVE PHARAOH CARDIAC DISEASE? Throughout the episode of the Ten Plagues, described in last week’s sidra and this week’s sidra, we read of the ‘hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.’ For the first five plagues, it is Pharaoh who hardens his own heart. For the subsequent plagues, we read that it is G-d who hardens...

Va’era
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Va’era

HAVDALAH IN EGYPT Before G-d strikes Egypt with the fourth plague, he has Moses declare to Pharaoh: “I will make a distinction between my people and your people.” (Shemot 8:19). When the plague struck the Hebrews living in Goshen were completely unaffected. When we make Havdalah at the end of Shabbat, we bless G-d who...

Shemot
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Shemot

WHERE THERE IS NO MAN, STRIVE TO BE A MAN When Moses leaves the comfort of the royal palace and goes out for himself to see how his fellow Israelites are existing under Egyptian slavery, he is shocked to discover that an Egyptian Taskmaster is beating a Hebrew Slave for apparently no reason, and the...

Vayechi
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Vayechi

LIVING FOR OTHERS “And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years” [Genesis 47:28] Last week’s sidra concluded with the settlement of Jacob and his family in the Goshen region of the land of Egypt, where they acquired property and were fruitful and multiplied. This week’s portion begins by informing us that Jacob...

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Vayigash Instagram

View this post on Instagram #ShabbatShalom #Parsha #Vayigash #ModernJew #Joseph #spirituality #Faith #God A post shared by Mendel Cohen (@mendel.cohen) on Dec 13, 2018 at 11:27pm PST

Vayigash
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Vayigash

During another eventful week of political power struggles, I learnt about the influence of Benjamin Disraeli on the modern Conservative Party. Benjamin was born a Jew. Scholars debate the cause: maybe it was a quarrel with Bevis Marks Synagogue over £40 membership; the community’s insistence on him becoming parnas (treasurer); or a deep ideological difference...

Vayigash
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Vayigash

REVERED OR REVILED The blurb on Niall Ferguson’s biography of Henry Kissinger (Volume I: The Idealist, 1923-1968) reads: “No American statesman has been as revered or as reviled as Henry Kissinger. “Once hailed as ‘Super K – the indispensable man’ whose advice has been sought by every president from Kennedy to Obama – he has also...