“Parsha to the Point” – Vayechi 5778

Parshat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)  Rabbi David Stav  Ironically, the only two Torah portions whose names contain the word “chayyim” – life – center on death. The first is Parshat Chayei Sarah, which details the burial of our matriarch, Sarah. The second is this week’s reading, Parshat Vayechi, which is largely about Jacob’s passing. …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayechi 5778

Parshat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “And when the days of mourning for Jacob were over, Joseph spoke to the house of Pharaoh saying, ‘If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, My father made me swear, and he declared: I am dying. In my grave that I have …

“Parsha to the Point” – Vayigash 5778

Parshat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27) Rabbi David Stav  Parshat Vayigash features a description of the difficult encounter between Joseph and his brothers, after a 22-year period of estrangement and physical separation. As the second most powerful leader in Egypt, Joseph accuses his brothers of espionage, and forces them to return with their little …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayigash 5778

Parshat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27) Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions; and I will put them unto him together with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in My hand” [Ezekiel 37:19]. Who is the most …

“Parsha to the Point” – Miketz 5778

Parshat Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17) Rabbi David Stav  This week’s reading, Parshat Miketz, opens with Pharaoh’s dream, which features skinny cows devouring fat cows, and thin, withered sheaves of wheat devouring sheaves that were full and beautiful. Pharaoh is troubled by his dreams, when the cupbearer remembers Joseph, who had correctly interpreted …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayeshev 5778

Parshat Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)  Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel — “And Judah said to his brothers: ‘What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let our hand not be upon him; for he is our brother, our flesh.’” [Gen. 37:26-27]. Why are Jews (Yehudim) referred to as …

“Parsha to the Point” – Vayeshev 5778

Parshat Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23) Rabbi David Stav  Parshat Vayeshev centers on the sale of Joseph by his brothers, an event that led to the entire family going down to Egypt and the slavery that ensued there. Over the generations, commentators have toiled in an effort to get to the bottom of the contempt between the brothers, without which such …

“Shabbat Shalom” – Vayishlach 5778

Parshat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43)  Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “And he said, Your name will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed. And Jacob asked him and said, ‘Tell me, if you would, your name.’ ‘Why do you ask for my name?’ And he blessed him there. And …

“Parsha to the Point” – Vayishlach 5778

Parshat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43) Rabbi David Stav  After spending nearly twenty years away from home, Jacob returns to the Land of Israel. But his return is marred by a glaring absence at home. We recall that his mother Rebecca was the one who masterminded Jacob’s flight to Haran. After overhearing that Esau was planning to murder Jacob because …