Shabbat Shemot (Ex. 1:1-6:1)

In the book, “The Torah Portion by Portion” by Seymour Rossell, an explanation of the name Moshe is given (I paraphrase): Masah in Egyptian means “child of” and is typically preceded by a god’s name, i.e. TuMasah (child of Tu), or RaMasah (child of Ra) when naming a child. Pharoah’s daughter, in naming the Hebrew child whom she draws from the Nile, seems to indicate that she knows his origin. More... read more

Shabbat Vayechi (Gen. 47:28-50:26)

The portion this week contains the closing verses for the book of Genesis/Bereshit. Jacob and his clan settle in Egypt and live there for 17 years, until Jacob feels that he is about to die. He calls all his children to him to give his final thoughts on them, their families and the future of the great nation he has started. Along the way, he offers to bless Manasseh and Ephraim – Joseph’s children. As... read more

Shabbat Vayigash (Gen. 44:18-47:27)

In the portion this week, Joseph executes the plan to save both Egypt and the Jewish people. During the years of famine, people buy grain out of the stores into which they contributed until they have no more money. Then Joseph allows them to “buy” the grain by giving their land back to Pharaoh. By the end of the famine, all the land (except that owned by the Egyptian priests) is owned by Pharaoh. Some... read more

Shabbat Mikaytz (Gen. 41:1-44:17)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (or the pyramid) Pharaoh has made Joseph the BJOC (big Jew on campus). Joe implements the first national yo-yo diet plan (feast/famine), and ends up assisting the Pharoah in a total land-grab as things get really really bad. And that’s when things start to get interesting. Because who should come calling but his long lost kin? But as usual, it’s all about the food. So, limited... read more