“Shabbat Shalom” – Shemot 5777

Parshat Shemot (Exodus 1:1 – 6:1) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “And Pharaoh commanded his entire nation saying, every male baby born must be thrown into the Nile, while every female baby shall be allowed to live.” [Ex. 1:22] In decreeing the destruction of the Israelites in Egypt, why does Pharaoh distinguish between the genders? …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayechi 5777

Parshat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the judicial interpreter’s staff from between his feet, until Shilo shall come, and unto him shall be the ingathering of nations.” [Gen. 49:10] While purchasing books in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim many years …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayigash 5777

Parshat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “And Joseph fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on [Joseph’s] neck.” [Gen. 45:14] The poignant moment when these two brothers are reunited after a separation of twenty-two years is one of the most tender scenes in the Torah. After a …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayishlach 5777

Parshat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. And Jacob journeyed to Succot, and built himself a home…” [Gen. 33:16-17] What is Jewish continuity? How might it be attained? Jewish organizations have spent many years and millions of dollars in search of answers …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayetze 5777

Parshat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had placed under his head, and set it up as a monument, and poured oil on the top of it.” [Gen. 28:18] Our Biblical portion, Vayetze, tells of Jacob’s journey into exile and, not coincidentally, the …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Toldot 5777

Parshat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “And they said, we saw indeed that the Lord was with you and we said: let there now be an oath between us, between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you.” (Gen. 26:28) On what basis, and with which types of people, can we make peace treaties? A careful reading …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Chayei Sarah 5777

Parshat Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And Abraham was old, well-stricken in age…” (Gen. 24:1) In addition to their shared ideals, the symbiotic relationship between Abraham and Isaac includes a remarkable likeness in physical appearance. Interestingly, one of the consequences of their physical similarity …