Author: Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center: Conservative Yeshiva

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Parashat Vayetzei Haftarah: "Mostly Dead is Slightly Alive"

Mostly Dead is Slightly Alive

As we read the stories of Jacob, it is worthwhile to pay attention to the interplay between hope and God as the redeemer us from various Sheols.

Study Guide: Dual Loyalty

Study Guide: Dual Loyalty

In the situation that revolves around Rachel and Leah’s respective marriages to Jacob, a question of loyalty to family is asked.

A Spiritual Excercise

A Spiritual Excercise

After leaving his father’s home, Jacob dreams of God and experiences prayer for the first time. Learn about living in dialogue with God.

Parashat Toldot Haftarah: Pushback

Pushback

In the haftarah for Parashat Toldot, the Book of Malachi describes a dialogue of pushback between God and the people of Israel.

Study Guide: Let's Eat to That

Study Guide: Let’s Eat to That!

Discuss commentary on Jacob and Esau’s interaction in Toldot. This study guide discusses the transaction of Esau’s birth right.

The Blinding of Isaac A Blessing in Disguise

The Blinding of Isaac: A Blessing in Disguise

In Toldot, Isaac, now the family patriarch, bestows the blessing of the firstborn on Jacob instead of Esau, when Jacob tricks him.

Parashat Chayei Sarah Haftarah: Modifying Memories

Modifying Memories

With memories ever-changing, how do we trust what we remember and what is shared with us? How do we trust the memories of Torah characters?

Study Guide: Inheritance or Gift?

Study Guide: Inheritance or Gift?

Study guide: Why does Abraham focus so much on Isaac? What about Abraham’s other children and should they receive inheritance as well?

A Crown of Glory

A Crown of Glory

Parashat Chayei Sarah describes the final years of Abraham’s life, following the death of his wife Sarah and culminating in Abraham’s own death.

Passing it on

Passing it on

In Vayera’s haftarah, we read the story of Elisha and a big deal woman in Shunem reflecting three different models of hospitality.

A Laugh That Hurts in The Belly

Study Guide: A Laugh That Hurts in The Belly

Study Guide: What really happened when the angels visited Abraham and Sarah? Why did Sarah laugh when she heard what they had to say?

When Mercy Seasons Justice

When Mercy Seasons Justice

Parashat Vayera is about a tense and dramatic conversation between God and Abraham about the destruction of Sodom.

To “Steelman” Idolatry

To “Steelman” Idolatry

In Lech Lecha’s haftarah, we are given a vision of what our lives might have been, if only they’d been a little different.

Study Guide: Right or Left? East Is Not an Option

Study Guide: Right or Left? East Is Not an Option

Study Guide: Unpacking the disagreement between Avram and Lot when they had to split the land they were on.

Men Count the Stars, Women are From Venus

Parashat Lech Lecha depicts an acute marital crisis between Abraham and Sarah that occurs at a particularly difficult moment in their lives.

Haftarah Understanding the Flood

Understanding the Flood

In the wake of the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple, God explains that God has not in fact abandoned Zion.

Study Guide Is it safer to attack god

Study Guide: Is it Safer to Attack God?

Study Guide: What kind of society created the Tower of Babel? Would we want to live in that society? What did Rashi say?

A Trail of Crumpled Papers on the Floor

A Trail of Crumpled Papers on the Floor

We learn in Parashat Noach: God comes to appreciate, the problem was not creating human beings, but having unrealistic expectations of them.

Parashat Bereshit Haftarah creation continued

Creation Continued

If creation was ongoing but no one observed it, did it actually still happen? Did creation cease when God disappeared?

Study Guide bereshit a little less is a lot more

Study Guide: A Little Less is A Lot More

Study Guide: In the context of Creation, what is the connection between blessing, deficiency, and Shabbat?

the moon is always female

The Moon is Always Female

In the beginning, according to God’s original plan, the Sun and the Moon were two who ruled alongside one another. What happened?