Weekly Drash

Post List

Parashat Vayetzei

The Reluctant Chosen Ya’akov is on his journey of becoming a man of God. He has a lot of growing up to do, emotionally and above all spiritually; here is the man who while sleeping on the future Temple site is blissfully unaware of the presence of God, so spiritually deaf is he and as yet untrained in the ways of God. His life is hallmarked by his constant struggles…

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Parashat Toldot

There was an old woman who swallowed a spider, That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her, She swallowed the spider to catch the fly, I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, Perhaps she’ll die. Remember this humorous yet ridiculous song? I thought about this when thinking about this week’s Torah portion. Yitz’chak was forty years old when he took Rivkah, the daughter of B’tu’el the Arami from Paddan-Aram…

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Parashat Chayei Sarah

A woman of valour, who can find? This is a very important portion. It speaks of so many things that are historical patterns that have echoed throughout the ages since, the battle between Yitzchak and Ishmael, the choices made in the fleshly, carnal, physical realm rather than in the spiritual, and the lives and legacies of Sarah and Rivkah. Yet it’s named after the life of Sarah, the only Matriarch…

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Parashat Vayera – Spiritual Deception

Last week we considered how ‘mercy wins out over judgement’ as the core concept that lies behind the spiritual reality of the physical universe. Through Avraham, the route to redemption begins to take hold, revealing the power and ability of God to turn around any situation, however evil, for good. Those whose spirits are regenerated will see the tension between the spiritual and the physical and will see the triumph…

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Parashat Lekh L’kha (Go Out)

An old Rabbinic tradition tells of the Jewish community of Horodna. One winter’s night there was a heavy snowfall. The next morning the men of Horodna got up before dawn, put on their fur coats and hats and boots, and set out in the deep snow for the Shul. Whilst on their way, they heard what sounded like someone singing. In the dim pre-dawn light, they were surprised to see…

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Shabbat Noach: Knowing how to rest

It is said: Nomen est omen, you are your name. Here we have the first portion in the Torah named after a person, Noach, and his name comes from the Hebrew verb ‘lanuach’ which means to rest. His father chose the name because he felt that through him (Noach) rest would come, or comfort, as some translators have it, from the toil of the land. In some way Noach, as…

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Parashat Bereshit

The point of it all Here we are once more, our scroll rolled back to the start and the well-worn path of the history we seem to know so well starts up again. These early verses are so enigmatic; it’s almost as if we’re called to dig deep to understand the broad sweep of the truths contained therein. All of our history is contained in these few verses – and…

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Vezot Haberakhah

Hot on the heels of Sukkot comes the final portion of the Torah scroll, before its reprise again at Shemeni Atzeret next week. The name of the portion ‘V’zot HaBrachah’ (and this is the blessing) is taken from the first words of the portion and sets the content for the closing chapters of the book of Deuteronomy. Moshe is about to die and bequeaths his last words. It is is…

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Our Father the Rock

Parashat Ha’Azinu In Devarim 32 we read Moshe’s song of deliverance. This lyrical, sung format is meant to be learnt and sung to each new generation, a wonderful song of redemption amidst rebellion, a song of hope and prophecy, of gloom and the ultimate hope of salvation. It’s a song of possibilities, riven with the anguish of a prophet who loved G-d and His people, yet knowing the end from…

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Parashat Vayeilech

Be Strong Moshe’s whole life’s work and calling was about to conclude. His concern to the bitter end was for the future of his people and God’s faithfulness to them and to us. Both he and Joshua are called to go before the Lord in Deuteronomy 31, where they hear some unpleasant things: V.16: “go astray or play the harlot”. The Hebrew is strong here and refers to sexual immorality…

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