This week’s haftarah juxtaposes King David preparing for his own death with both Jacob and Joseph’s preparations for their own deaths.
In this week’s parashah, Jacob asks Joseph to swear to bury him not in Egypt but rather lay him to rest with his ancestors.
Parashat Vayechi chronicles the deaths of Jacob and his son, Joseph, both of whom provide explicit instructions regarding their burials.
Parashat Vayigash continues a long narrative of sibling relationships. The reconciliation focused on here, reflects in this week’s haftarah.
Joseph, after revealing his identity to his brothers, invites the family to Egypt. They share an emotional reunion and a good long cry.
In parashat Vayigash the patriarch Jacob learns the truth about his son Joseph, in realizing Joseph’s laden wagons.
In making sense of details we begin to construct the grander concept and we realize we are in the presence of something bigger.
The brothers need more food but were told not to return without their youngest brother, whom their father refuses to part with.
In parashat Miketz, Jacob sends his sons to Egypt, but unbeknownst to his sons, the ruler dispersing rations is their younger brother, Joseph.
Many of our sacred texts are deeply unsettling. Our ancestors are deeply flawed people and their stories do not present easy takeaways.
Study guide for Parashat Vayeshev, following the story surrounding Joseph and his interaction with his master’s wife.
In this week’s parashah, Judah’s daughter-in-law Tamar tricks him into sleeping with her after she is not able to conceive with his sons.
In the haftarah for Vayishlach, from the Book of Obadiah, we read the story of God rebuking the nation of Edom, rather than Israel.
A study guide for Parashat Vayishlach, focused on the midrashim surrounding the parashah and the reunification of Jacob and Esau.
On the eve of Jacob’s meeting with his brother Esau, he finds himself wrestling with a divine figure, winning, and receiving a new name.
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.
In the situation that revolves around Rachel and Leah’s respective marriages to Jacob, a question of loyalty to family is asked.
After leaving his father’s home, Jacob dreams of God and experiences prayer for the first time. Learn about living in dialogue with God.
In the haftarah for Parashat Toldot, the Book of Malachi describes a dialogue of pushback between God and the people of Israel.
Discuss commentary on Jacob and Esau’s interaction in Toldot. This study guide discusses the transaction of Esau’s birth right.
In Toldot, Isaac, now the family patriarch, bestows the blessing of the firstborn on Jacob instead of Esau, when Jacob tricks him.
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: Why does Abraham focus so much on Isaac? What about Abraham’s other children and should they receive inheritance as well?
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.
In Vayera’s haftarah, we read the story of Elisha and a big deal woman in Shunem reflecting three different models of hospitality.
Study Guide: What really happened when the angels visited Abraham and Sarah? Why did Sarah laugh when she heard what they had to say?
Parashat Vayera is about a tense and dramatic conversation between God and Abraham about the destruction of Sodom.
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: Unpacking the disagreement between Avram and Lot when they had to split the land they were on.
Parashat Lech Lecha depicts an acute marital crisis between Abraham and Sarah that occurs at a particularly difficult moment in their lives.
In the wake of the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple, God explains that God has not in fact abandoned Zion.
Study Guide: What kind of society created the Tower of Babel? Would we want to live in that society? What did Rashi say?
We learn in Parashat Noach: God comes to appreciate, the problem was not creating human beings, but having unrealistic expectations of them.
If creation was ongoing but no one observed it, did it actually still happen? Did creation cease when God disappeared?
Study Guide: In the context of Creation, what is the connection between blessing, deficiency, and Shabbat?
In the beginning, according to God’s original plan, the Sun and the Moon were two who ruled alongside one another. What happened?