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Parashat Bereshit

What are you looking at? The Torah scroll is wound back to the beginning again and the Beginning of it all is where we start, yet we are reminded in fact of this portion every seven days throughout the whole year. Every Shabbat we are forced to remember this event. Shabbat came at the end […]

Parashat Noach

‘Original’ sin  It has only taken us two weeks, and two portions of Torah to reach the situation we read about in this portion, a situation of such utter devastation and corruption. Adam and Chava had had it so good in the garden, everything was provided for them by God, there were trees of good […]

Parashat Lech-Lecha

Can God change His mind? It all could have been so good, indeed, according to Torah everything was created good. God never acts to do evil or bring injustice; it is however in the nature of man, given the choice, to do evil and bring injustice. From Bereshit we moved swiftly towards Noach and the […]

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 […]

Parashat Chayei Sarah

(Life of Sarah) A woman of valour, who can find? This week’s portion is a highly important one for the development of Israel and the purposes of God. 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 […]

Parashat Toldot

Torah: Gen 25:19-34 Making an Impact We live in a world dominated by catch phrases and sound bites; ask anyone who either works in this kind of environment where every breath is focussed on ‘outcome related variables’, or ‘objective focussed service trajectories’, or even if you study on one of the many courses that are […]

Parashat Vayetzei

Bereshit (Genesis) 28:10-32:3 HaMakom This week’s portion sees Ya’akov on the move. The plot to ensure that the Abrahamic blessing and promise would continue through him, and not Esav his brother, had been revealed. Rivkah now sends him away to avoid almost certain murder. Very few families have a clean sheet regarding their shared history, […]

Parashat Vayishlach

…(and he sent) Torah: Gen 32:22-24 (H) -32 (E) Haftorah: Hos 12:1-6   MW: Rev 21:1-7 Face to face with God This portion, along with the Akeidah is one of the key turning points in our history, a life changing encounter with the living G-d of Israel. Ya’akov is about to meet the G-d of his […]

Parashat Vayeshev

(And he dwelt): Genesis (Bereshit) 37:1- 40:23 Why we are Yehudim In this portion history is moving on, the spotlight now falls increasingly on Ya’akov’s sons, the same ones who had brought disgrace on the family in Shechem. However others are now brought to the fore too: Y’hudah and Yosef. The G-d of Israel, the […]

Parashat Miketz

God is in control Two thousand years ago, one wintry day in Jerusalem, a solitary figure walked through the Temple precincts in Shlomo’s Porch. It was the ideal place to be during this time, the marking of Israel’s ‘Independence Day’ as it was then known: Chanukah, the time of the rededication of the Temple after […]