Vayetze 5776: Jacob the Refugee

It’s not just that Jacob is a refugee when he arrives at the well near Haran; he also has a presumptuous attitude. This much is apparent from the first sentences that he utters to the local men. Calling out to them with a tone of familiarity, “My brothers, where are you from?” he proceeds to criticize and…

Shabbat Toledot: A Full Bellied Blessing

Some stories are rich with visual imagery, while others resound with song. But it is fragrance, specifically the smell of savory food, which infuses Parashat Toledot. Food plays an essential role in several pivotal scenes. It is with a pot of lentil stew that Jacob purchases Esau’s birthright, and it is with a steak dinner…