Rabbi Wise’s Weekly Shabbat Message

  • Shabbat Bo 578
    What was the nature of the plague of Hoshekh, darkness, the ninth calamity that God brought on the Egyptians? The Torah describes a darkness so thick it was tangible. What’s more, it prevented Egyptians from any and all movement. “People could not see one another, and for three days no one could move about” (Exodus 10:23).   The ...
  • Shabbat Shemot 5783
    When we first meet Moshe as a grownup, we are introduced to a man of action. He goes out, ostensibly from his sheltered life in the palace, among his People. He sees an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew. “He turned this way and that and, seeing no one about, he struck down the Egyptian and ...
  • Shabbat Vayehi 5783
    “What the magic word?” We probably know this expression from our childhood, when we were taught to say things like “please” and “thank you.” Or maybe we think of mythic tales with words like “abracadabra,” which, by the way, has an Aramaic origin (avra kedabra–I will create as I speak”).   As we arrive at the end of Sefer ...
  • Shabbat Vayigash 5783
    As we reach the height of narrative drama in the Yosef story, we encounter the longest speech in Sefer Bereshit. At the end of last week’s Torah portion, Miketz, Yosef’s “stolen” divining cup has been found in Binyamin’s backpack. Despite Yehudah’s commitment that all the brothers shall remain in Egypt as slaves, Yosef in his continuing concealed ...
  • Shabbat Miketz/Rosh Hodesh/Hanukkah 5783
    My go-to resource for all things Hanukkah is the pair of books edited by Noam Zion called A Different Light. These volumes are full of the history and big ideas of what is probably Judaism’s best-known holiday. There is no doubt that this holiday is meant to give a boost to Jewish pride; the placing of ...
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