Shabbat Toldot: What the World Needs Now

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  – Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (1963) וַיֶּאֱהַ֥ב יִצְחָ֛ק אֶת־עֵשָׂ֖ו כִּי־צַ֣יִד בְּפִ֑יו וְרִבְקָ֖ה אֹהֶ֥בֶת אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹֽב׃ Isaac loved Esau *כי צידו לפיו and Rebekah loved Jacob. (Genesis 25.28) Commentaries have long noted that it is inContinue reading “Shabbat Toldot: What the World Needs Now”

Shabbat VaYishlakh: Becoming Whole By Becoming Oneself

There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in – Leonard Cohen ז״ל In this week’s parashah, the eponymous ancestor of the People of Israel is given the name Israel. The deceiving, conniving, too smart by half Jacob has apparently achieved some kind of transition. The people Israel has for two thousandContinue reading “Shabbat VaYishlakh: Becoming Whole By Becoming Oneself”

Shabbat VaYishlakh: Gratitude, Not Fear

As Parashat VaYishlakh begins, Jacob survives a confrontation with his brother Esau, from whom he has been estranged for twenty years – a generation, a lifetime, of distance. Jacob has prepared himself for the worst, splitting his family into two camps and sending lavish gifts to his brother in advance – according to the Midrash, heContinue reading “Shabbat VaYishlakh: Gratitude, Not Fear”

Shabbat VaYishlakh: What Message Do You Carry?

Two opposing sides confront each other; one has been wronged and is angry, and the other is guilty, afraid, and feels that it must defend its very life. Ferguson? New York? Portland Oregon last night outside the Moda Center? No, the situation described is part of this week’s parashah; in it, Jacob and Esau walk towardContinue reading “Shabbat VaYishlakh: What Message Do You Carry?”