June 20, 2018 |

Daniel M. Kimmel

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My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Sh'mot (2)

Upon seeing the burning bush in Parshah Sh’mot, Moses is instructed, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.” (Exo. 3:5) For those who’ve been watching “Sex and the City,” you may need to be reminded that shoes are more often associated with the dirt...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Va-Y'Chi (2)

In the final portion of Genesis, we read in Parshah Va-Y’hi that Joseph’s brothers were frightened when their father died. Would Joseph now feel free to wreak his revenge? Joseph has no such idea, telling them, “…although you intended me harm, God intended it for good, so as to bring about the...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Vayigash (2)

The climactic revelation by Joseph to his brothers in Parshah Va-Yiggash includes an innocent question that actually raises some issues. “I am Joseph,” he declares. “Is my father still well?” (Gen. 45:3) He’s now been the most powerful man in Egypt for several years and he hasn’t tried to let...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Miketz (2)

As a critic I’m surprised when I notice that one of the major “characters” of the Torah – indeed, the “star” – is absent from the story of Joseph.. Where is God? With Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God is doing things, saying things or, at the very least, sending heavenly messengers. ...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Vayeshev (2)

It's always rich in irony to see someone who got government backed student loans or other subsidies insisting he is a "self-made man." While we're often quick to blame others for our problems, we claim our successes are due entirely to our own efforts. In Parshah Va-Yeishev, Joseph finds himself...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Vayishlach (2)

Did you ever call a helpline or a billing office and discover you had a new best friend? Suddenly a total stranger is addressing you by your first name as if you’re old pals. As we see in this week’s Parshah VaYishlach, names have power and meaning. Jacob wrestles with an angel who renames him...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Vayetze (2)

"Surely the Lord is present in this place, and I did not know it," says Jacob in Parshah Vayetze, awakening from his dream of the angels going up and down a heavenly stairway. (Gen. 28:16) Jacob is described as "shaken" by the experience. It's a moment worth contemplating. We're too apt to think...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Toldot (2)

One of the more bizarre stories in the Torah is in this week’s Parshah Toldot. The notion of sibling rivalry between Esau and Jacob isn’t unusual, however the story of how Esau sold his birthright to Jacob or a bowl of lentil stew raises all sorts of questions. First, Esau is more interested in...

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

Hospitality to strangers is a great mitzvah in the Torah. We recently read of Abraham abruptly cutting off a conversation with no less than God because three messengers appeared, and he hastened to offer them food and shelter. In Parshah Chaye Sarah we get another example. Abraham's servant has...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Vayera (2)

When Sarah is told she will have a child in her old age she laughs and says, “Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment – with my husband so old?” (Gen 18:12). When God quotes this to Abraham, He puts it this way, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am?’”...

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