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Vayiggash: Blessing Pharaoh

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Blessing Pharaoh

Vayiggash: Blessing Pharaoh

This week’s Torah portion is full of drama, hope and healing. There is so much going on in this reading that it’s no surprise the following passage is often overlooked: Yosef brought his father Ya’akov and had him stand in the presence of Pharaoh and Ya’akov gave Pharaoh a blessing. Pharaoh said to Ya’akov: How many are the […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Consquences

Miketz: Consequences and Karma Busters

Years have passed. Yosef has endured exile, slavery, persecution, and imprisonment, but now finds himself  in a position of extraordinary power, second only to the Pharaoh.  He has an Egyptian name, an Egyptian wife, and Egyptian children. His break with the past is so complete that he named his firstborn son Manasseh/Menashe, which means “God has made me […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Hatred and Healing

Vayeshev: Hatred and Healing

With this week’s Torah portion, we move from Ya’akov story to that of his children.  Just a few verses into the reading, we get an inkling of the trouble ahead: Yosef/Joseph, the firstborn son of Ya’akov’s beloved wife, Rakhel/Rachel, is an arrogant teenaged brat, quick to rat out his older brothers to their father. (Genesis […]

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Vayishlakh: Wrestling with Life

Years have passed since Ya’akov/Jacob betrayed his brother and tricked his father into blessing him.  He has prospered in exile, gathering wives, wealth, and progeny, but the time has come to return. Understandably concerned about the reception he will receive from the brother who swore to kill him, Ya’akov sends emissaries to Aysav/Esau to gauge […]

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