That’s Gross!

review of Naftali Bennett event last night

By | December 4th, 2015|

Last night we hosted Naftali Bennett at Beth Tfiloh Congregation.  It was an extraordinary evening.  Over 1,000 people from our community came to Beth Tfiloh to hear this leader of Israel and the Jewish people.  The crowd had many young faces, including 250 students from all over North America and Israel who are currently being [...]

Yosef and Unwrapped

By | December 3rd, 2015|

Yosef was stripped completely naked by his brothers.The Torah says, "They stripped him of his tunic, the fine woolen tunic that was on him."Rashi comments on the obvious superfluous words.  He says they stripped him of the special coat that his father made for him, and they also stripped him of his regular clothes that [...]

Yosef and Forest Gump

By | December 3rd, 2015|

The main question that Rashi is usually addressing with his comments is "Who Cares?"In the Yosef episode we find this around every detail.Yaakov sent Yosef to look for his brothers and the Torah says, "he sent him from the depths of Hevron and he arrived in Shechem."Rashi says that the depths of Hevron is inaccurate. [...]

Yosef and Esav

By | December 2nd, 2015|

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Rashi points out at least twice that Yaakov saw himself in Yosef, more so than the other brothers.  But did he also see his brother Esav?I find it interesting that Yaakov made the mistake of favoring his son Yosef after his own experience where his own father seemed [...]

A New Look at Yosef’s Dreams

By | December 1st, 2015|

It occurred to me as I was going over the parshah this week, why was Yosef dreaming about binding sheaves in the field?  That was NOT the family business.  The Torah tells us a few verses back that he and his brothers were shepherds. This was Yosef's vision of the future.  He was trying to [...]

Yosef and Sigmund Freud

By | November 30th, 2015|

So much psychology in this week's parshah!  Before we even get into the dreams, there is so much to learn in the few verses about the initial hostility between Yosef and his brothers.One good thing Rashi teaches us about the brothers comes from Rashi's comment on "They were not able to speak to him peaceably." [...]

Yaakov and Steven Wright

By | November 30th, 2015|

I read a comment of Rashi on this week's parshah that I have difficulty with.  After all of the traumatic episodes in Yaakov's life, he finally wanted to settle down.  Rashi says that wasn't meant to be.  The Yosef ordeal was bound to spring up on him.Hashem asks rhetorically, "The world to come is not [...]

Esav and radical Islam

By | November 27th, 2015|

I mentioned in an earlier post how commentaries in the past have drawn parallels between Esav and Christianity.  In that genera of commentary, Yishmael is used as a representative of Islam.  I think today, there is a far stronger and more relevant parallel between Esav and Islam. The Torah forbids us in parshat Ki Tetze [...]

Esav and Isaac Asimov

By | November 27th, 2015|

Esav made money.  Lost of it.  He married into the tribe of Seir, and they were loaded. One of the princess of Seir was a lady named Meheitavel the daughter of Mei-Zahav.Rashi says, how did her family get the name Mei-Zahav?  It means, "What's gold?"  As if to say, gold was nothing in their eyes. [...]