This week Jacob returns home to Canaan after 20 years toil in Laban’s house where Jacob’s children were born in the midst of fierce competition between his wives. Sage Iben Ezra estimates Reuben to be 12 years of age at the time of Jacob’s departure for Israel. Jacob’s return to the land portends much for the return of his children at the end of days. Continue reading Vayishlach 2015 (and he left)
URGENT GLOBAL CALL FOR PRAYER FOR ISRAEL TODAY, NOV. 22, 2015! Please share! Joining over 5 million Jews worldwide at 10 EST Sunday in crying out to God with the Psalms of David below. Download your copy here or read the text below and be ready to pray with them at 10 EST. Join with our brothers!
1. A Mikhtam by David. Guard me, El (Almighty God), for I have taken
refuge in You.
2. [O my soul] you should say to YHVH, “You are my Master; [in
bestowing Your] benefits towards me, there is no duty on Your part
[on account of my own merit].
3. But on account of the holy ones who are [buried] in the earth, and
of the mighty ones [in faith] in whom is all my delight[/all my needs
4. The sorrows of those who hasten after another [deity] will increase;
I will not pour their libations of blood, nor will I take their names upon
5. YHVH is the share given for my portion [i.e. to believe in Him] and
[the share] for my cup is You, Who guide me in my lot.
6. Portions have fallen to me in the most pleasant places [i.e. faith in
You]; even a beautiful inheritance [ibid.] is upon me.”
7. I will bless YHVH, Who counseled me; even at night my
conscience instructs me.
8. I have placed YHVH before me constantly; because [He is] at my
right hand, I will not falter.
9. Therefore, my heart rejoiced, and my soul was glad; even my flesh
shall dwell in safety.
10. For You shall not forsake my soul to the grave; You shall not
allow Your pious one to see destruction.
11. You will make known to me the path of life: satiety of joys in
seeing Your face, [and being satisfied] unto eternity with the delights
that are at Your right hand.
1. By David, a Maskil. Fortunate is he whose transgression is
forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2. Fortunate is the man to whom YHVH ascribes no iniquity and in
whose spirit there is no guile.
3. When I was silent, my bones decayed with my moaning all day
4. For [both] day and night Your hand is heavy upon me; my
freshness was transformed as in the droughts of summer,Selah.
5. I would inform You of my sin, and I did not conceal my iniquity; I
said, “I will confess my transgressions to YHVH,” and You forgave the
iniquity of my sin, Selah.
6. For this [thing] let every pious man judge himself: [to draw close] to
You before [misfortune] befalls, only before the flooding of might
waters [of afflictions]; such a person they will not reach.
7. You are a hiding-place for me, from distress You guard me; with
songs of deliverance You encompass me,Selah.
8. “I will enlighten you and instruct you in the way which you shall go;
I will wink My eye to you.”
9. Be not like a horse or like a mule that does not discern, which must
be muzzled with its adornment of bit and rein, that it should not come
10. Many are the pains of the wicked, but as for him who trusts in
YHVH — kindness will encompass him.
11. Rejoice in YHVH and exult, O righteous ones, and cause all those
of upright hearts to sing praises.
1. For the Leader, a song by David.
2. Fortunate is he who considers the sick; on a day of calamity YHVH
will rescue him.
3. YHVH will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be called
fortunate in all the land, and You will not deliver him into the desire of
4. YHVH will support him on his sickbed; when You have transformed
his entire restfulness in his illness.
5. I said, “YHVH, be gracious to me; heal my soul because I have
sinned against You.”
6. My enemies speak evil of me; “When will he die and his name be
7. And if he comes to see [me], he speaks falsely; his heart gathers
iniquity to itself; when he goes outside, he speaks of it.
8. All my enemies whisper together about me; against me do they
devise my hurt.
9. “An evil thing shall be poured into him, and once he lies down, he
will no longer rise.”
10. Even my ally, in whom I trusted, who eats my bread, developed
an ambush for me.
11. But You, YHVH, be gracious to me and raise me up, so that I may
12. By this I shall know that You delight in me, when my enemy does
not shout joyfully over me.
13. And as for me, because of my integrity You shall support me, and
set me up before Your face forever.
14. Blessed be YHVH, Elohei/(God of) Yisroel, from [one end of] the
world, to the [other end of] the world. Amen and amen!
1. For the Leader, a Maskil by the sons of Korach.
2. As a doe cries longingly for rivulets of water, so does my soul cry
longingly to You, Elohim (God, Almighty Master of all forces).
3. My soul thirsts for Elohim, for the living God: “When will I come and
appear before Elohim [in the Holy Temple]?”
4. My tears were my bread day and night when they say to me all day
long, “Where is your God?”
5. These things I will remember, and I will pour out my soul [because
of the pain which is] upon me: How I passed on in covered [wagons],
pacing slowly up to the House of Elohim with a joyful shouting and
thanksgiving, a celebrating multitude.
6. Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you wail over me?
Hope to Elohim, for I will yet thank Him for the salvations of His
7. My God, the soul that is upon me is downcast; therefore, I will
remember You from the land of Yardan and the peaks of Chermon,
from the young mountain.
8. One deep [trouble] calls to [another] deep [trouble]; [I am ready] to
hear the sound of Your water channels [of afflictions]; all your
breakers and waves are gone over me.
9. By day, YHVH commands His kindness, and at night, His song is
with me, a prayer to the God [who guards] my life.
10. I will say to God, my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why
should I walk in gloom under the oppression of the enemy?”
11. With murder in my bones, my oppressors have reproached me by
saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
12. Why are you downcast, my soul, and why do you moan over me?
Hope to Elohim, for I will yet thank Him for the salvations of my
countenance and my God.
1. For the Leader, a plea to be spared from destruction; by David,
a mikhtam; when Shaul dispatched and they guarded the house to
2. Rescue me from my enemies, my God; from those who rise up
against me, save me.
3. Save me from workers of iniquity; and from bloodthirsty men
4. For behold, they lurked for my soul; strong men lodge against me,
neither for any transgression of mine nor for any sin of mine, YHVH.
5. Without any iniquity [of mine], they run and prepare themselves;
awaken [Yourself] towards me and see.
6. And You, YHVH-Elohim Tzevaot, God of Israel, arise to visit upon
all the nations; be not gracious to any treacherous workers of
7. They return in the evening, they howl like a dog and go round
about the city.
8. Behold, they spew forth with their mouth; [they have] swords in
their lips, for who hears?
9. But You, YHVH, will laugh at them; You will mock all the nations.
10. [In face of] his strength, for You do I wait, for Elohim is my
11. The God of my kindness will precede me; Elohim will show me
what befalls my watchful foes.
12. Do not kill them, lest my people forget; make them wander
[destitute] with Your power and bring them down, YHVH our Shield.
13. The sin of their mouth is the word of their lips, and they will be
seized because of their haughtiness, and because of the curse and
the lies that they tell.
14. Destroy [them] with wrath, destroy them so they be no longer, and
let [people] know that Elohim rules in Yaacov to the ends of the
15. And let them return towards evening, let them howl like dogs and
go round about the city.
16. Groaning [for food] they will roam about to eat; if they are not
sated, they will lodge.
17. And I will sing of Your power, and I will sing praises of Your
kindness in the morning, for You were my stronghold and a refuge on
a day that I was in straits.
18. My strength! To You will I sing, for Elohim is my stronghold, God
of my kindness.
1. For the Leader, on yedutun, by Asaf, a song.
2. My voice is to God (El Elohim), when I cry out; my voice is to God
(El Elohim), that he give ear to me.
3. On the day of my distress, I sought YHVH; my wound oozes at
night and does not abate; my soul refuses to be comforted.
4. I remember Elohim and I moan; I speak and my spirit becomes
5. You held my eyes from [getting any sleep]; I am stricken and
unable to speak.
6. I think of days of yore, ancient years.
7. I recall my music at night; I speak with my heart and my spirit
8. “Will YHVH forsake [me] forever and nevermore be appeased?
9. Is His kindness ended forever? Has He finished consoling?
10. Has the Merciful God forgotten graciousness? Has He, in anger,
shut off His mercy?” Selah.
11. And I said, “This is to infirm me, this change of the right hand of
the Most High.”
12. I recall the deeds of Yah when I remember Your wonder from
13. And I meditate over all Your works, and of Your deeds I speak.
14. Elohim, Your way is in sanctifying [your Name by judging the
wicked]. Who is a great god as Elohim?
15. You are the God Who works wonders; You made known Your
might among the peoples.
16. You redeemed Your people with Your arm, the sons of Yaacov
and Yosef, Selah.
17. The waters saw You, Elohim, the waters perceived You, and they
trembled, the deeps even quaked.
18. They poured forth thick waters; the skies let out a voice [of
thunder], even your arrows [of lightning] went abroad.
19. The sound of Your thunder [rebuked] the wheel[s of Pharaoh’s
chariots]; the lightning illuminated the world; the earth trembled and
20. In the sea was Your way, and Your path in the mighty waters;
afterwards Your steps were not known [when the sea returned to its
strength to cover the Egyptians].
21. You led Your people like sheep by the hand of Moshe and
1. A prayer by Moshe, the man of Elohim. Adonai, a shelter are You;
You have been for us, in generation after generation.
2. Before the mountains were born, and when the earth and inhabited
land were yet non-existent, and from everlasting to everlasting, You
are the God.
3. You bring a man down to a crushing point, and You say, “Return,
O sons of men.”
4. For if a man lived a thousand years, they would be in Your eyes
like a bygone yesterday, for they will but pass away, and be like a
watch in the night.
5. You flow them; they are as a [dream] during sleep; in the morning,
like grass he passes away.
6. In the morning, it blossoms and is rejuvenated; by evening, it is cut
off and withers.
7. For we perish from Your wrath, and from Your anger we are
8. You have placed our iniquities before You, [the sins of] our youth
before the light of Your countenance.
9. For all our days have passed away in Your anger; we have
consumed our years as a fleeting thought.
10. The days of our years because of them are seventy years, and if
with strength, eighty years; but their proudest success is toil and pain,
for it is quickly shorn off and we fly away.
11. Who knows the power of Your anger, and Your wrath according
to the reverence that is due unto You?
12. To number our days, so inform [us], that we may get a heart of
13. Return, YHVH [from Your wrath]. How long? And be consoled [in
thinking favorably] regarding Your servants.
14. Satiate us in the morning with Your loving-kindness, and we will
sing out and rejoice throughout our days.
15 Cause us to rejoice according to the days that You afflicted us, the
years when we saw evil.
16. May Your works appear to Your servants, and Your majesty to
17. And may the pleasantness of YHVH Eloheinu be upon us, and
the work of our hands, establish for us (without mishap to us), and the
work of our hands, establish it.
1 Give thanks to YHVH, proclaim His name; make His deeds known
among the peoples.
2. Sing enthusiastically to Him, play music to Him, speak of all His
3. Boast of His holy name; may the heart of those who seek YHVH
4. Search for YHVH and His might; seek His presence constantly.
5. Remember His wonders, which He performed, His miracles and
the judgments of His mouth.
6. The seed of Avrahom His servant, the children of Yaacov, His
7. He is the YHVH Eloheinu; throughout all the earth are His
8. He remembered His covenant forever, the word He had
commanded to the thousandth generation,
9. [The Covenant] which He cut with Avrahom, and His oath to
10. And He set it up to Yaacov as a statute, to Yisroel as an
11. Saying, “To you I shall give the land of Canaan, the lot of your
12. When they were few in number, hardly dwelling in it.
13. And they walked [in their customs] among one nation and then
among another nation, from one kingdom to another people.
14. He let no man rob them, and He reproved kings on their account.
15. “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do not harm My prophets.”
16. He called a famine upon the land; He broke every staff of bread.
17. He sent a man before them; Yosef was sold as a slave.
18. They afflicted his foot with fetters; his soul was placed in irons.
19. Until His word came, the saying of the YHVH purified him.
20. A king sent and released him, a ruler of peoples [sent] and loosed
21. He made him the master of his household and the ruler over all
22. To bind up his princes at his wish, and he made his elders wise.
23. Yisroel came to Egypt, and Yaacov sojourned in the land of
24. And He made His people very fruitful, and He made it stronger
than its adversaries.
25. He turned their heart to hate His people, to plot against His
26. He sent Moshe His servant, [and] Aharon whom He chose.
27. They placed upon them the words of His signs and His miracles
in the land of Cham.
28. He sent darkness and it darkened, and [the signs] did not disobey
29. He turned their water into blood, and killed their fish.
30. Their land swarmed with frogs, [even] in the rooms of their
31. He commanded and a mixture of noxious beasts came, lice
throughout their entire boundary.
32. He made their rains into hail, flaming fire in their land.
33. And it struck their vines and their fig trees, and it broke the trees
of their boundary.
34. He spoke and locusts came, and nibbling locusts without number.
35. And they consumed all grass in their land, and they consumed
the produce of their soil.
36. And He smote every firstborn in their land, the first of all their
37. And He took them out with silver and gold, and there was no
pauper among their tribes.
38. Egypt rejoiced with their departure, for their fear had fallen upon
39. He spread out a cloud for shelter, and fire to illuminate the night.
40. They asked, and He brought quails, and the bread of heaven
41. He opened a rock and water flowed; in the deserts ran rivers.
42 For He remembered His holy word with Avrahom His servant.
43. And He took out His people with joy, His chosen ones with joyful
44. And He gave them lands of nations, and they inherited the toil of
45. In order that they keep His statutes and observe His laws.
1. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, we also wept when we
2. On willows in its midst we hung our harps.
3. For there our captors asked us for words of song and our
tormentors [asked of us] mirth, “Sing for us of the song of Tzion.”
4. “How shall we sing the song of YHVH on foreign soil?”
5. If I forget you, Yerushalayim, may my right hand forget [its skill].
6. May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do
not elevate Yerushalayim above my foremost joy.
7. Remember, YHVH, and repay the children of Edom; and the day of
Yerushalayim, those who say, “Raze it, raze it, down to its
8. Daughter of Babylon, who is destined to be plundered,
praiseworthy is he who repays you in accordance with how you have
done to us.
9. Praiseworthy is he who will take and dash your infants against the
1. Halleluyah! Praise God in His holy place, praise Him in the
firmament of His might.
2. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him as befits His superb
3. Praise Him the blast of the shofar; praise Him with psaltery and
4. Praise Him with timbres and dance, praise Him with stringed
instruments and flute.
5. Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with far-sounding
6. Let every soul praise Yah! Halleluyah!
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Last week, in Toldot, after falling into Rebekah’s snare, Jacob was forced to flee for his life from his brother, Esau. Before sending him away, Isaac granted the blessing intended for Jacob all along. Continue reading Vayetse [and he departed] 2015
This week, in between the stories of Esau selling his birthright and Rebekah convincing Jacob to deceive Isaac into believing he is the elder son, we find a sidebar that seems strangely out of place.
Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you.
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands.
Though our portion this week is entitled “Life of Sarah,” it curiously records both her’s and Abraham’s death, though, in actuality, he lives another 38 years. Scripture inserts the death of the saints in the narrative when their mission is complete. Like Noah and Shem before him, Abraham remains alive in the background to influence and intercede for his descendants. Continue reading Chai Sarah [Life of Sarah] 2015