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Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the website.  We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given.  For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website.  If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the website.

An Order to Circumcise

The Torah portion of Miketz relates how the seven years of plenty came to an end as foretold by Joseph, and "... the entire land of Egypt hungered, and the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians:  'Go to Joseph (and) do what he will tell you.'"

Commenting on the words "... do what he will tell you," the famed commenter Rashi states:  "For Joseph was telling them to circumcise themselves, and when they came to Pharaoh and said 'this is what he tells us [to do],' Pharaoh replied:  'Why didn't you gather produce?  Didn't [Joseph] notify you that the famine years were coming?' They said to Pharaoh, 'We indeed gathered much produce -- but it rotted!' He replied, "If that is the case, do everything he will tell you; you see that he decreed against the produce and it rotted -- what if he will decree against us and we die?!'"

Read more: An Order to Circumcise

The Quest for Peace


"Ignorance is bliss." How facile -- and how true! Are you sick to your soul of all the ugliness and injustice in the world? Just close your eyes, and make believe it ain't so. And when reality barges in your door and comes crashing down on your head, close your eyes tighter, imagine harder. If you sing loud enough to drown out the sounds of carnage in the next street or continent, you can experience peace (or at least participate in a ceremony celebrating the same).

Read more: The Quest for Peace

The Smallness of Jacob

Samuel, a Jerusalem lawyer, was on his way to court for an important trial and, sadly, got a late start to his morning. By the time he got to the courthouse, all the parking spots were taken. He drove around for five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes, and no luck. Twenty minutes passed, and he began to get desperate. After thirty minutes of circling the parking lot and the adjacent neighborhoods in utter futility, the time for his court appearance fast approaching, he turns his head heavenward and shouts, "Master of the universe! I swear I will give 10 percent of my earnings to charity each year, pray three times a day, start a Torah study group in my home, I'll wait six hours between meat and dairy foods. Only just this: I need a place to park right now!"

Read more: The Smallness of Jacob

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