Tag Archives | Jacob

Parashat Vayechi | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

by Rachel Aronson, Hazon – New York, NY Parsha Vayechi tells a story of transition and change. Jacob, lying on his deathbed, calls his sons to his side. Each of his sons, along with Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Menasheh, receive an individual blessing– and some punishments for bad behavior. The blessings recall each person’s individual talents, and lay the groundwork for the creation of the Twelve Tribes. This is not the first time that brothers have gathered around to be blessed, and, compared to other biblical siblings, Vayechi shows an admirable model of coexistence. Earlier in the Torah, difference between siblings has led to warfare- Cain committing the first murder of his brother, Abel; Isaac receiving a blessing while Ishmael is thrown from his home; Jacob stealing the birthright from his twin, Esav. Even this story started with Joseph being sold into slavery, his coat stolen, betrayed by his brothers. But upon Jacob’s death, a different tone emerges about brotherly love. For the first time, difference is made into a positive- twelve tribes with twelve different blessings, destined to fulfill the role of priests, schoolteachers, olive-growers, etc. Participants in the Westchester Jewish Greening Group prepare to March for Clean Energy in […]

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Honoring the Darkness – D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

by Shani Mink – Pushing the Envelope Farm, Geneva IL & Pearlstone Retreat Center, Reisterstown MD Parshat Vayeishev Editor’s Note: Welcome to D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog! Most weeks throughout the year, you’ll be hearing from the JOFEE Fellows: reflections on their experiences, successful programs they’ve planned and implemented, gleanings from the field, and connections to the weekly Torah portion and what they’ve learned from their experiences with place in their host communities for the year. Views expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily represent Hazon. Be sure to check back weekly!  P.S. Interested in being or hosting a JOFEE Fellow? Applications for prospective fellows will continue to be reviewed as positions are available.   In this week’s Torah portion, Vayeishev, we find Jacob and his family settled in the land of Canaan.  After Rachel’s death, her firstborn son, Yoseph quickly becomes his father’s favorite and is given his famous Technicolor Dream-Coat.  The special treatment he receives from Jacob incites Yoseph’s brothers’ jealously which is only exacerbated by the retelling of dreams in which he is portrayed as ruling over them. While tending their father’s flocks, the sons of Jacob plot to kill their brother Yoseph, but the eldest, Reuven, implores them […]

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