Parasha Insights


A little girl was punished for some act of disobedience. Her mom and dad decide that her punishment will be for her to eat dinner alone in the corner of the dining table, while the rest of them would sit on the other side of the table.

As they sat down to eat that night the family paid no attention to her until they heard her pray. She was actually paraphrasing the famous Psalm chapter 23:

“I thank You, Lord, for preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

In this week’s portion, Chayei Sara tells the story of how Abraham has sent his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Isaac.

He goes to the city of Charan. Arriving at the town's well, he proposes a test: the woman who comes to draw water, … Read More »


An older man had serious hearing problems for many years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the man to hear 100%.

The old man went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, “Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.”

The man replied, “Oh, I haven’t told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to their conversations. I’ve changed my will three times!”

In this week’s portion, Vayera, Abraham’s remarkable story continues. And—at last—at the age of 100, he is blessed with a son, Isaac. As his wife, Sarah declares: “Whoever hears this story, will r… Read More »


The local Hebrew School decided to observe Chanukah with a special ecumenical celebration, and invited everyone in the neighborhood, of whatever background, to participate in any way they thought appropriate, or to just come and observe, and have some home-baked cookies washed down with grape juice or heavy super-sweet wine.

There were speeches, dramatizations, and miscellaneous musical performances. At one point Mrs. Goldberg, in the third row, wiped away a tear as her little Miriam scratched out a hesitant rendition of "Havanu Sholom Aleichem" on a shiny new violin. Mrs. Goldberg noticed that a man seated next to her also had tears running down his face.

"Isn't it wonderful", she said to him, "to know that o… Read More »



Husband and wife had an argument. Wife called up her mom and said, "He fought with me again, I am coming to live with you."  Mom said, "No darling, he must pay for his mistake. I am coming to live with you."

The Sages derive from the biblical narrative that Noach built the ark for 120 years—that would contain his family and all animals and birds over the year of the flood.

Why does it take 120 years to build a boat?!

Noach could have fulfilled the Divine commandment with alacrity and swiftness. And then, just having the presence of this major vessel in his backyard, would arouse curiosity and Noach could explain to the people its purpose, hoping they will as a result change their ways. Why the… Read More »


 It is the first murder in history, in this week's parshat Bereshit it happens between the first siblings of history.

Following the murder, G-d tells Kain, “the voice of your brother’s blood cries out from the earth.” But who buried Abel? The Torah is silent on that.

The Midrash, as always, fills in the gaps.

Adam and Eve sat in front of their slain son, Abel, the first dead human in history, cried, and mourned, “and did not know what to do.” A raven flew near them carrying a dead raven in its beak. The raven proceeded to scrape the ground until a furrow was dug – large enough to place the dead bird in and then the raven covered and buried the dead bird. Adam saw this instinctive act of the … Read More »

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