In Exodus (Shemot) chapter 3 Moses portrays himself in the west side of the wilderness pasturing the flock of his father-in-law. Chapter 3 describes Moses’s encounter and following dialogue with Adonai. This meeting will completely change Moses’ plans, life, and future.



Jacob is old and ill. Now it is apparent that the end of his earthly life is approaching. It is time to bless his children and according to the biblical text it will happen soon.

Yet, some unexpected things are about to happen, namely, adoption and wrong order of blessing. These two elements of the narrative deserve special attention.



The Weekly Torah portion Vayigash communicates many important ideas. Probably, messianic motif is one of the most important moments found in this parashah. I suggest that two characters reveal different traits of Messiah. They are Judah and Joseph.



The struggle

Moses says that “Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah” (Gen. 25:20).[1] The long years of painful waiting almost repeat the years of Abraham’s waiting for his son. Exactly as Abraham for decades was counting days until the birth of Isaak, now Isaak, in his turn, is counting days. It is important to remember that most probably Abraham was alive during all these years and shared this sore uncertainty with his family.



Midrash Genesis Rabbah tells us that Abraham would greet travelers. According to the Oral Tradition Abraham intentionally placed his tent in the center of crossroads in order to accommodate people who were travelling.

It was Abraham’s custom to wash the feet of the traveler (as all nomads do), and to feed the traveler.

Ki Teitzei


Parashah Ki Teitzei contains a precept which looks strange from our perspective. The law of Moses allows taking a pledge which is common, however the procedure of taking it, is unusual: the law prohibits entering the house of a debtor.



The Weekly Torah Portion Shoftim begins with the law about judges. God instructed Moses to appoint them “in all towns.”



When I was a kid I liked solving basic algebraic problems such as "A barge travels on a river from point A to point B..." Knowing two parameters, namely, distance and speed I was to determine how much time it would take to travel from A to B.