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Shabbat Shalom

Toldot (Descendants) – Genesis 25:19 – 28:9

With this week’s Torah reading, we move on to the life of Isaac, the second patriarch of the Jewish people. The portion begins in Chapter 25 verse 19 and continues through Chapter 28 verse 9. Indeed, it is the only Torah reading that deals with Isaac as an independent adult.

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Lech Lecha (Go Forth) – Genesis 12:1 – 17:27

So begins this week’s Torah reading. And what a reading it is. If there was ever a “Zionist” Torah reading it’s this one. And each year, we are reminded that G-d chose Abraham out of all the people of the earth, and made him the father of our nation and the recipient of G-d’s promises for the Jewish people.

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Noach (Noah) Genesis 6:9 – 11:32

This week, we read the story of Noah and the flood. “And these are the descendants of Noah, Noah was a righteous man, innocent he was in his generations.” (Genesis 6:9) Many commentators have questioned the use of the word generations – why the plural and why the addition of the word at all?

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Bereisheet (In the Beginning) Genesis 1:1 – 6:8

We begin the cycle again. Last weekend we celebrated Simchat Torah and read the final chapters of Deuteronomy with special ceremony. We then proceeded to read the first chapter of Genesis, as a way of saying that the Torah never ends, but every ending includes with it a new beginning.

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Shabbat Succot

This week we celebrate one of my favorite holidays… Succot, the Feast of Tabernacles. It is quite remarkable that the Torah readings discuss sacrifices brought to the Temple thousands of years ago.

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Rosh HaShanah (Genesis 21 – 22)

I find the Rosh HaShanah selections special and never fail to feel a thrill and a sense of awe as we read them each year. On the first day, we read the story of the birth of Isaac, beginning with the words, “And G-d visited Sarah as he had said” (Genesis 21:1).

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