August 19, 2018 |

Daniel M. Kimmel

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My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Yitro

Modern readers of Torah may have problems accepting some of the things described therein. Whether it’s the creation story, or the flood, or the parting of the Red Sea, or Balaam’s ass, we have to decide: Did this really happen? Should we take it as allegory? Are there traditional or modern...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - B'shalach

The Israelites are getting ready to leave Egypt after 400 years, much of it as slaves. And what does Moses do? According to Parshah B’Shalach, “And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, who had exacted an oath from the children of Israel, saying, ‘God will be sure to take notice of you: then...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Bo

There’s a moment in this week’s Parshah Bo that is easy to read quickly but ought to provoke much discussion. Right after the killing of the first born and Pharaoh’s release of the Israelites we read, “The Egyptians urged the people on, impatient to have them leave the country, for they said, ‘We...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Va'era

With all the action going on with the plagues you might gloss over Exodus chapter 6, verses 6-8 in this week's Parshah Va-era. That would be a mistake. God tells Moses that He is ready to enforce his covenant with the Israelites: "I will free you... and deliver you... I will redeem you... I will...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Sh'mot

We begin the book of Exodus with Parshah Sh’mot. It takes us from Joseph’s death to the start of the showdown with the new Pharaoh in quick, terse passages. Look, for example, at chapter 2, where in verse 10 Pharaoh’s daughter is rescuing the baby from the Nile and naming him Moses, and verse 11...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -Vayechi

Jacob’s at it again. In Parshah Va-Yhi he’s blessing Josephs’ sons but he insists on favoring the younger boy. Joseph tries to correct him but Jacob is having none of it, insisting both will be great, but the younger will be greater: “Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.” (Gen. 48:20). Did you...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Vayigash

Film director Garry Marshall tells the story of actor Richard Gere taking him to meet the Dalai Lama. Gere introduced Marshall as "the funniest man you ever met." Marshall had no idea how to live up to that and blurted out to the Buddhist spiritual leader, "We're both the same age." The Dalai Lama...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Miketz

The Joseph story which concludes the book of Genesis is unusual in a number of ways. For one thing, it’s the longest, spanning over four parshahs. For another, it’s a story where God doesn’t seem to be a player. God talks directly or through visions to Adam, Noah, and the Patriarchs, but in this...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -Vayeshev

We read in Parshah Va-Yeishev, "Now Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons… and he had made him an ornamented tunic." Why did Jacob play favorites? He already knew from growing up with his brother Esau how much tsuris that could lead to, and his Uncle Laban taught it to him again when he...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Yayishlach

What goes around comes around. The Torah does not pull punches in telling the stories of the patriarchs, even if our Hebrew School teachers do. A story you probably didn't learn as a child has to do with the rape of Jacob's daughter Dinah by Shechem, a local tribesman who then has the audacity...

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