Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, z/l: Mikketz Sibling Rivalry

Rabbi Sacks writes that the root of human conflict is actually sibling rivalry: Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, and now Joseph and his brothers. He compares the sibling rivalry of the Torah to the 3 Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He reminds us of the early medieval period in Spain, when the religions lived together peacefully. That changed with the blood libels and expulsions later in Europe. Rabbi Sacks continues the analogy into the present, writing of the conflicts in the Middle East right now.

Rabbi Adam Ruditsky: Parashat Miketz If you are not sure, ask Joseph!

Rabbi Ruditsky ties the parashah to current events in Israel. While many Jewish people have questioned their past, like Joseph, they are now coming to terms with both the present and the past, recognizing that they are intertwined. Joseph named his one of his sons Manasseh, which means “God has made me completely forget my hardship and my parental home.” Like Joseph, many Jews today question their position on the State of Israel. 

Rabbi Kari Tuling: Vayeitzei Growth Requires Truth

Rabbi Tuling writes about Jacob’s resiliency; he goes to sleep destitute, using a rock as a pillow. He wakes up with a dream of blessing and divine promise, which gives him hope to continue his journey. She describes Jacob as passive, rather than deceptive and tricky—he allows his mother to manipulate him and Laban to take advantage of him. How does he rise about family patterns?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, z/l: Vayetse The Character of Jacob

Jacob is first described as a simple man, yet he is not at all simple. While Midrash portrays him as “all-good” and Esau as “all-bad”, Jacob tricked his brother and, with his mother, deceived his father. Later, Laban deceives him on his wedding night. The deception continues, yet Jacob became rich. Please follow the link below to read Rabbi Sacks’ perspective on who Jacob was: