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Torah Commentary Blog

Temple Emanu-El’s Torah commentaries are prepared by members of our clergy, senior staff, Religious School faculty and Saturday morning Torah Study group. Blog comments are moderated. Please note that we reserve the right to delete comments that are deemed inappropriate, use offensive language, promote personal attacks or are self-serving (promote goods and services). At the same time, we hope that this blog will promote thoughtful dialogue and continued learning. If you are a temple member interested in joining our team of writers, contact Prince Davis.



Parashat Be-Shallah
By Bettijane Eisenpreis
Now when Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, “The people may have a change of heart when they see war and return to Egypt.” So God led the people roundabout, by way of the wilderness at the Sea of Reeds.”

Exodus 13: 17-18



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Shemot
By Bettijane Eisenpreis
 
A new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us. Let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they may not increase..”
 
Exodus 1:8-10

 

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Vayigash: Fathers and Sons
By Bettijane Eisenpreis
As Parashat Va-Yiggash opens, Judah pleads for Benjamin, telling Joseph, whom he does not recognize, that Benjamin is innocent and it would kill his old father if Benjamin did not return.  His plea is eloquent, and Joseph finally breaks down and reveals himself. “I am Joseph,” he says. “Is my father still well?” The Bible says that his brothers couldn’t answer him because they were “dumbfounded.”

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Toledot
By Bettijane Eisenpreis

For the next few weeks, Jews everywhere will be studying the story of Jacob, his trials, travels and eventual triumph. But first, let us look at the Hebrew title of the portion, Toledot, because it occurs frequently in the Bible. The sages said of the Torah, “Turn it, and turn it again, for everything is in it.” So what does “toledot” mean?

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Nitzavim (09/08/18) - Vayeilech (09/15/18)
By Bettijane Eisenpreis
Sitting on the bookshelf in my den is a tired-looking old white Bible. The front cover is falling off, but in the lower right-hand corner the name “Elizabeth Jane Long” is still clearly visible.

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