A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: VAYEITZEI (GENESIS 28:10-32:3)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Parsha (VAYEITZEI) begins with Jacob on the run from his family and home. Although, he leaves with his father, Isaac’s, birthright and blessing, these were obtained under false pretenses. His mother, Rebecca, heard his brother, Esau, mutter that he intended to kill Jacob, for this deception. She […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: TOLDOT (GENESIS 25:17-28:9)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Parsha presents an ancestral tale, which haunts us with its theme of cunning and deception. As the narrative proceeds, we realize that each of the characters, presented in TOLDOT, is caught in a web of relationships; a web of words; true and false, from which they cannot […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: CHAYEI SARAH (GENESIS 23:1-24:67)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant The translation of this week’s Torah Parsha (CHAYEI SARAH) is ‘The Life of Sarah’. Ironically, only the first two lines of the Parsha pertain to the death of Sarah; and, no other aspect of her life is even mentioned again. Rashi wrote that the death of Sarah is juxtaposed […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: VAYIEIRA (GENESIS 18:1-22:4)

Towards the end of last week’s Parsha (LECH LECHA), we read of the supernatural birth of Isaac to Sarah and Abraham. At the time, Abraham was 100 years old; and Sarah was in her nineties, well beyond child-bearing age. God made a covenant with Isaac, circumcising him eight days after his birth. This week’s Parsha […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: LECH LECHA (GENESIS 12:1-17:27)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Torah Parsha (LECH LECHA) begins with God’s words to Abram: “Go forth from your birthplace to the land which I will show you; and, I will make you into a great nation, bless you, and aggrandize your name” (1). The writers of the Midrash had many obvious […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: NOACH (GENESIS 6:9-11:32)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant This week’s Torah Parsha begins: “These are the generations of Noah; Noah was a righteous man for this generation; Noah walked with God” (1). Numerous commentaries have emerged, pertaining to the implication that ‘Noah was a righteous man’. In a rare ‘Torah Moment’, Torah scholars are actually in agreement […]

A ‘Bissel’ of Torah: BEREISHIT (GENESIS 1:1-6:8)

By Joy Scott, Am Haskalah Congregant “In the beginning of God’s creation of the heavens and earth, God said: “Let there be light; and, there was light” (1). The first Torah Parsha (BEREISHIT) of the Book of Genesis is probably the most familiar of any other portions of the Torah. The wondrous origination of the […]