This week’s Torah portion, Va’eira, continues the story of the enslavement and liberation of the Jewish people from Egyptian oppression by God. The Torah describes how Pharaoh remains adamant in his refusal to heed the many requests of Moshe. What was Moshe asking of Pharaoh and how can we relate Moshe’s actions to those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
When reading about our great Torah personalities in the Tanakh, we often read with rose-colored glasses. We project an idealized image on to its leading characters how contemporary society portrays piety. Having this view of our great matriarchs and patriarchs, our foundational leaders, in fact, does us great harm.
What is the most important law of physics? Which is major and which is minor? How about Jewish holidays, are some more important than others?
In this week’s parasha, Vayishlach, our patriarch Yaakov, has a reunion with his brother Esau. His actions bring lessons on how adhering steadfastly to our Torah is our only safeguard against the modern-day Esaus of the world.
In this week’s Torah portion, we see the mantle of responsibility for building the nation of Israel passing from Avraham and Sarah to Yitzchak and Rivka. In Toldot, they emerge truly as patriarch and matriarch, Yitzchak Avinu and Rivka Imeinu.