Posts Tagged ‘parasha’

Vayehi Torah Portion Summary

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

After living in Egypt for 17 years, Jacob, feeling that his time was limited, asked Joseph to bury him in Canaan, with his family.

Joseph brought his two sons, Menashe and Ephraim to see Jacob, and receive a blessing from him, but when they did so, Jacob insisted that he place his right had on Ephraim and recite his name first, even though he was not the first born.

Later, Jacob gathered the rest of his sons to tell what was to come for each of them, saying that Reuben was unstable like water and that Shimeon and Levi were instruments of anger and would be scattered.

He said that Judah, like a lion, would be a leader in the future, Zebulun would live near the sea, Yissakhar would be a tiller of the soil and Dan would be a serpent of the highway.

He added that Gad would be a great warrior, Naphtali a messenger of brilliant speeches, Joseph a calm and outstanding leader in God’s eyes, and that Benjamin would tear the wolf to pieces and divide it as spoil.

These are the twelve tribes of Israel.

Soon Jacob died, and as instructed, Joseph embalmed his father and brought him to the Cave of Makhpelah, in the land of Canaan, to be buried near Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca and Leah.

After burying their father, Jacobs sons were concerned that Joseph might hold a grudge against them for what they had done in the past, and punish them.

However, after confronting and apologizing to Joseph, he told them not to be afraid, since God meant for their actions to bring them to the present.

Joseph continued to live in Egypt with his brothers, and before dying at the age of 110, he told his brothers that he wished to be buried in Egypt and have his body moved to Canaan if they ever returned to that land.

Shemot Torah Portion Summary

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

Jacobs sons were fruitful in Egypt, and fearing this rapidly-growing tribe, the Pharaoh levied a tax on them and then decided to make them slaves.

Later, the Pharaoh decided to kill all Israelite sons, but Shifrah and Puah, two Hebrew midwives, sided with God rather than Pharaoh and helped to hide one baby boy for three months, until his mother finally had to get rid of him, which she did by placing him in a basket and floating it down the river.

The Pharaoh’s daughter found the basket and the child, named him Moses, and cared for him.

When Moses was older, he assaulted an Egyptian for beating an Israelite slave, and then fled from Egypt when he found out that others had witnessed it.

Moses went on to marry Tzipporah and have a son, Gershom, and while tending sheep for his father-in-law, he saw a bush that was burning but was not consumed by the fire.

Moses heard the voice of God in this bush, and was told to go to Egypt and free the Israelite slaves and take them to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Moses questioned why he was selected, citing his speech problems, and saying that the Israelites and the Pharaoh would not listen to him.

God told him to take his brother, Aaron, to speak for him, and demonstrated some of the miracles that Moses would perform to show God’s power.

Finally, Moses agreed to go, and after confronting Pharaoh for the first time, asking him for a few days off for the Israelites to pray, Pharaoh punished the Israelites for being lazy, by no longer providing them with straw for the bricks they were making.

With the people of Israel angry at Moses, God told him that he would do things to Pharaoh that would not only encourage him to let the slaves go, but would cause him to drive them out of his land.