Commentary on Parashat Va-y’chi

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt. ~ Genesis 50: 26 The story of Joseph is a dramatic one. It was the basis of Thomas Mann’s acclaimed four-part novel, Joseph and His Brothers and of the …

Commentary on Parashat Vayeitzei

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis “When Rachel saw that she had borne Jacob no children, she became envious of her sister, and Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die.” Genesis 30:1 Sibling rivalry seems to have existed literally from the beginning of history, starting with Cain and Abel. From the start, …

Commentary on Parashat Vayeira

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis “And Sarah laughed to herself, saying ‘Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment — with my husband so old?’ Then the lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am? Is anything too wondrous for the …

Commentary on Parashat Eikev

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis “And if you do pobey these rules and observe them faithfully, the Lord will maintain for you the gracious covenant that He made on oath with your fathers.” Deuteronomy 7:12 We have seen the word, “Eikev” or, “heel” for which this parashah is named before in the Torah. Its Hebrew …

Commentary on Parashat D’varim

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis “These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan…” Deuteronomy 1:1 Words are very important in the history of our people. What we call the Ten Commandments are called in Hebrew the Ten Words. We do not conceive of God in pictures. …

Commentary on Matot — Mas-ei

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis Daughters are not Sons They said, “The Lord commanded my lord to assign the land to the Israelites as shares by lot; and my Lord was further commanded by the Lord to assign the shares of our kinsman Zelophehad to his daughters. Now if they marry persons from another Israelite …

Commentary on Sh’lach L’cha

June 15, 2019 By Bettijane Eisenpreis “And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me, and how long will they have no faith in Me, despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst? I will strike them with pestilence and disown them, and I will make of you …

Commentary on Parashat B’midbar

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis “On the first day of the second month, in the second year following the exodus from the land of Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting …” Numbers 1:1 This book, which we call Numbers in English, is called B’Midbar, In …

Commentary on Tazria-M’tzora

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis “As for the person with a leprous affection, his clothes shall be rent, his head shall be left bare, and he shall cover his upper lip, and he shall call out, “Unclean, Unclean!” He shall be unclean as long as the disease is on him. Being unclean, he shall dwell …

Commentary on Parashat Tzav

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis The Lord spoke to Moses saying: Command Aaron and his sons thus: This is the ritual of the burnt offering…. Leviticus 6:1-2 The titles of the Torah’s parashot do not necessarily reflect their principal themes. Rather, the first or most important word of the early sentences becomes the method of …

Commentary on Parashat Yitro

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis Honor your father and your mother, that you may long endure on the land that the Lord your God is assigning to you. Exodus 20: 12 The Ten Commandments are often cited as the bedrock of our faith. For both Jews and Christians, they are said to lay down the …

Commentary on Parashat Va-Yehi

Bettijane Eisenpreis By Bettijane Eisenpreis When Joseph saw that his father was placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought it was wrong, so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. “Not so, Father,” Joseph said to his father, “for the other is the first-born…” Genesis …