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Vayishlakh: Conditional Identity

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Vayishlakh

Vayishlakh: Conditional Identity

In this week’s reading, Vayishlakh/And He Sent, Jacob is finally ready to return home after a twenty year absence. Paralleling his earlier flight from his enraged brother, he stopped on his way and spent the night alone in a desolate place where he once again encountered the Divine: … A man wrestled with him until […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Vayetze

Vayetze: God is in this Place

In last week’s Torah portion, Jacob and his mother manipulated his father into giving the first-born’s blessing to him instead of his older twin, Esau. Fearing for his life, Jacob fled from his outraged brother. At the beginning of this week’s reading, Vayetze/And he went out, Jacob stops for the night in an unnamed place. With […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Toledot

Toledot: Digging Deep

The last three Torah portions focused on Abraham’s life. Over the next few weeks, a even larger number of readings will concentrate on his grandson, Jacob. But Abraham’s son Isaac is the center of attention in just one parashah, Toledot/generations, and only one chapter of this week’s text provides any direct information about him. In chapter 26, we learn […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Khayyei Sarah

Khayyei Sarah: Turning Toward Grief

This week’s Torah portion, Khayyei Sarah/Sarah’s life, includes the deaths of Sarah and Abraham, and marks the end of the saga of the first generation of the people who will eventually become the Children of Israel. Yet these deaths are also profoundly personal, and the mourners’ grief is not hidden. Abraham is bereft; Isaac and Ishmael set […]

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