“Parsha to the Point” – Rabbi David Stav on the Weekly Portion

“Parsha to the Point” – Bo 5778

Parshat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)  Rabbi David Stav  The saga of the exodus from Egypt reaches a climax in this week’s portion, Bo. After Egypt endures nine plagues in the course of one year, the Egyptians now face the final and most

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“Parsha to the Point” – Vaera 5778

Parshat Vaera (Exodus 6:2-9:35)  Rabbi David Stav  Last week, as we began the Book of Exodus, we read anew about how the People of Israel became enslaved by Pharaoh. Their conditions worsened with time, but Moshe, chosen by God to speak

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“Parsha to the Point” – Shemot 5778

Parshat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1)  Rabbi David Stav  Out of terrible human tragedies can come the most remarkable universal examples of heroism and humanity. Such is the case in Parshat Shemot. Curiously, although the Torah condenses hundreds of years of slavery and

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“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

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“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

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Rabbi Eliahu Birnbaum

Ladino After Auschwitz

Ladino After Auschwitz by Rabbi Eliahu Birnbaum, Director of OTS’s Straus-Amiel and Beren-Amiel Emissary Training Programs The “bad guys” in the story of the Salonika community are not the Greeks, but rather the Germans. In the city that absorbed Spanish evacuees and

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“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

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“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

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“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

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“Parsha to the Point” – Vayetze 5778

Parshat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3) Rabbi David Stav  As Jacob escapes from the Land of Israel from his murderous brother and heads for Haran, God shows him a vision of a ladder rooted in the ground whose top reaches the heavens, and

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“Parsha to the Point” – Toldot 5778

Parshat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9) Rabbi David Stav  “It came to pass when Isaac was old, and his eyes were too dim to see…” [Gen. 27:1]. Why did Isaac go blind? Was this an ailment of old age? Or perhaps was it an

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“Parsha to the Point” – Chayei Sarah 5778

Parshat Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18) Rabbi David Stav  Parshat Chayyei Sarah begins with the death and burial of our matriarch, Sarah, who passed away at the age of 127. Abraham, wishing to bury her, needed a burial site. Since he was a

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