2-½ minutes to readParsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Vayeitzei – Genesis 28:10-32:3 Periodically, Melanie argues we should leave Los Angeles. The cost of living and taxes are outrageous. Despite building a light rail system, traffic gets worse each year. Materialism pervades everywhere. But the conversation bogs down because we can’t just leave L.A. We have to go somewhere else. Until we have the clarity Jacob gets in Parshas Vayeitzei , I guess we’ll stay put:
“And Jacob went out from Beer-Sheba, and he went to Haran.” ( Beresheis /Genesis 28:10)This Sabbath’s parsha begins with Jacob fleeing to his uncle Laban’s house. On the way there he has an encounter with G-d. Jacob meets Rachel and falls in love. He agrees to work seven years so he can marry her. The morning after his wedding he finds himself married to… Read More
2-½ minutes to readYou need to take action. You won’t accomplish your goal if you don’t. Finding the job you want. Improving your physical fitness. Getting closer to your spouse. Becoming closer to G-d. All require doing something. The problem is what you did in the past didn’t work. And acting for the sake of being busy is pointless. What do you do?
2 minutes to readParsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Toldos – Genesis 25:19-28:9 I know service members raised in terrible circumstances who completely turned their lives around. Being in the military helped them along the way. But their transformations were not inevitable. They could just as easily have gone the other way. Parshas Toldos gets at the root of how they changed:
“And the first one emerged ruddy (red)…” ( Bereshis /Genesis 25:25)This Sabbath’s parsha begins with the birth of Jacob and Esau. Their respective characters become evident when Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for some lentil stew. A famine forces Isaac to move to Gerar. He wrangles with the Philistines and makes a treaty with Abimelech. Next Esau marries two Canaanite women. Isaac blesses Jacob and Esau. Then, though he sold his birthright, Esau hates Jacob for… Read More
3 minutes to readSome days I feel bombarded. It seems like everyone needs me to make a decision. Can we get another dog? Can we go to Knott’s Berry Farm this weekend? Can we have pizza for dinner tomorrow night? May I go to my friend’s house? No, no, no, yes. That should keep them satisfied for a few minutes. But it will start again soon, you know what I mean?
2-½ minutes to readParsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Chayei Sarah – Genesis 23:1-25:18 Freedom means encountering people and values that make you uncomfortable. As a new chaplain, I was told not to use Hebrew when giving a public prayer. I thought the person giving me this instruction was hypersensitive or bigoted. Latin didn’t bother me. Why should Hebrew bother others? I could have protested. But to what end? It would have offended people. And I would have lost any chance to impact their lives. Parshas Chayei Sarah gives a tried and true method for handling this situation:
“…also for your camels I will draw until they finish drinking.” ( Beresheis /Genesis 24:19)This Sabbath’s parsha begins with Sarah dying. Abraham purchased a burial site, interred her, and devotedly mourned. Next, he ordered Eliezer, his servant, to find a wife… Read More