Parashat Mikeitz 5784

December 11, 2023

Rabbi Rena H. Kieval ('06)

“How many children do you have?” This question, often posed as a simple social pleasantry, can be a complex one for a bereaved parent. Does one inject the intense, personal topic of a deceased child into a casual conversation with a stranger? Or does one ignore, not count, the child who is physically absent, but is still present in one’s heart and family? 

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Parashat Mikeitz 5783

December 19, 2022

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah A D’var Torah for Parashat Mikeitz By Rabbi Ira Dounn (’17) How is the arc of your own story bending right now? I think about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice” often, particularly when a desired outcome hasn’t yet been achieved. MLK is reminding us to have hope despite the slow pace at which it seems progress sometimes occurs. To this point, Joseph has had a tough life. Although originally the favorite child, Joseph’s brothers act on their intense jealousy, throw him into the pit, and sell him into slavery. His position as a slave in Egypt is initially comfortable and successful, all things considered, since “G-d was with Joseph” (Gen. 39:2). But after he is falsely accused of sexually assaulting Potiphar’s wife, back down into “the pit” he goes and he is thrown in...

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Parashat Mikeitz 5782

December 3, 2021

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah A D’var Torah for Parashat Mikeitz By Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman This Shabbat is a three Torah Shabbat. We will read the weekly parasha of Mikeitz, then the reading for Rosh Hodesh and then for Hanukkah. Though it may be a stretch, let’s see if we can weave together the common themes of these three. The story of Hanukkah is captured in the conflict between Hellenists, those Jews who embraced much of Greek culture (sometimes to the exclusion of core Jewish rituals and values) and those Jews who saw Greek culture as the defilement of Torah and the holy Jewish way of life. Obviously the Greeks themselves fought on the side of the Hellenists, which made the Hasmonean victory nothing short of miraculous. Parashat Mikeitz tells the story of the rise of Joseph from prison to become the viceroy of Egypt. At the age of thirty, having been in Egypt already for thirteen years, Joseph is given...

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Parashat Mikeitz 5781

December 18, 2020

Click HERE for an audio recording of this D’var Torah   A D’var Torah for Parashat Mekeitz By Rabbi Enid Lader Pharaoh has had a sleepless night; well, one of those nights when you have a bad dream, wake up, get a drink of water to calm yourself down, get back into bed and fall back to sleep, only to have another even more frightening dream. Pharaoh gathers his counselors and magicians around him, but no one is able to (or wants to) interpret his dreams. It is the chief cupbearer who suddenly remembers Joseph’s last words to him when they both were in prison after Joseph had correctly interpreted the cupbearer’s dream – “Remember me to Pharaoh so as to free me from this place…” (Gen. 40:14). The cupbearer promptly forgot as he gained his freedom… And now, two years later, when a dream interpreter is needed, the cupbearer identifies Joseph...

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Parashat Miketz 5780

December 27, 2019

The Dreams of Pharaoh A D’var Torah for Parashat Miketz By Rabbi Jill Hammer Often when we come to this parashah, we think of the drama of Yosef: his rediscovery of his brothers and his decision to trick them in order to see if their character has changed. But this year, I am finding myself curious about a different drama: the story of Pharaoh. Not the one with a hard heart, but the first Pharaoh, the one who dreams. It is this Pharaoh who elevates Joseph to high estate. It is also this Pharaoh who teaches us something about the qualities of leadership. At the beginning of Genesis 41, the Pharaoh of Egypt has two dreams in a single night, dreams that disturb him. In the first dream, seven healthy cows come out of the Nile, and then seven emaciated cows come out and devour the seven healthy cows. In the second, Pharaoh sees a...

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