A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah Parsha (YITRO), we read about the dramatic event which took place at the bottom of Mount Sinai. Amidst thick clouds of smoke, and the booming sound of the Shofar, the Israelites heard the Words of God, as he presented to them the ‘Ten Commandments’. In this week’s […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah Parsha (BESHLACH), we read about how the Israelites celebrated with song, to express their deep gratitude to God, for delivering them from the enslavement and bondage, which they experienced in Egypt, under the rule of the Pharaoh. At the beginning of this week’s Torah Parsha (YITRO), the […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17-16)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant After the devastation and slaughter of all of the first-born to families in Egypt (God’s tenth and final plague), the Pharaoh finally freed the Jews in Egypt (Parsha ‘BO’). In this week’s Torah Parsha (BESHLACH), ‘The Song of the Sea’, we read about how the Israelites escaped Egypt, and a juxtaposition […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Torah Parsha (BO) is a sequel to last week’s Parsha, VA’EIRA, which concluded with the perpetuation of the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt, despite the seven devastating plagues, which God had imposed on the Pharaoh and his people. In BO, God relentlessly exacerbates the essence of His final three plagues. […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat VA’EIRA (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Miracles, magic, and marvels aptly describe this week’s Torah Parsha (VA’EIRA). The Exodus narrative is central to our identity as Jews, and is read every year at Shabbot, and again at Passover. Each year, we tell and re-tell the powerful story, which enabled the Jews to escape slavery and oppression in […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah Parashat Shemot(Exodus 1:1-6:1)

This week, we begin the second Book of the Torah, EXODUS, with the Parsha, SHEMOT. The story continues with the end of GENESIS, and the descendants of Jacob, Joseph, his brothers, and their families living in Egypt, albeit 400 years later. “The Israelites were fertile and prolific; they multiplied and increased very greatly, so that […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

by Student Rabbi Shelley Goldman This Shabbat is my Grandmother’s Fourth Yartzeit. By Jewish reckoning, she died Shabbat morning of Parashat Vayechi, the last Torah portion in the book of Genesis. At this point in our story, our patriarch Jacob is lying on his deathbed and offering blessings to his sons. I remember hearing these words […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH Parashat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Parsha (Mikietz), Joseph, then Viceroy of Egypt, is approached by ten of his brothers from Canaan, to purchase grain and food, as the famine Joseph had prophesied to the Pharaoh proliferated throughout the entire region. At first, Joseph does not identify himself as the brother, who they so […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH Parashat Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant In last week’s Torah Parsha (Vayeishev) the intense jealousy of Joseph, and his father’s ostentatious partiality to Joseph reached a crisis of urgency. Feeling unfairly overlooked, and powerless, they took out their frustrations on Joseph. He was sold as a slave to Egypt; and, after a series of events, as a […]

A ‘BISSEL’ OF TORAH Parashat Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23)

by Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant Clothes and Garments play a major role in this week’s Torah Parsha (Vayeishev). They appear to be a precursor of change to both the characters and the lives of those, of those who are affected. We first meet Joseph, (beloved son of Jacob), not as an ‘interpreter’ of dreams, but one […]