Portions Library

A collection of essays on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy, adapted from Torah Club.

VayishlachRead / Listen to Portion


Jacob's Sukkah

Although Jacob did not build his booths to keep the festival by the same name, the LORD commanded his descendents to imitate him by building sukkot annually as a reminder of their journey to the Promised Land, during which they lived in huts and booths

The Power of the Tongue

The story of Rachel’s death illustrates the Master’s warning against swearing oaths. He said, “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil”

Jacob the Wrestler

We do not understand why God conceals Himself when He could reveal Himself. We do not understand why we must grope in the darkness to apprehend Him, or why He leaps on us in the metaphorical darkness of life. Is our darkness self-imposed? Learn to overcome, even in the darkness.

Birth Pains of Messiah

The rabbis anticipate a future time of testing and tribulation just before the advent of the Messiah. Rabbi Yochanon said, "In the generation of the coming of the Son of David, disciples of the sages will be few in number, and as for the others, they will see sorrow and grief."

Jacob Meets Esau

Jacob knew he was walking into great danger as he returned to the land of Canaan. Hoping that his brother’s heart had softened, Jacob sent messengers ahead to announce his homecoming to Esau. The messengers returned with bad news. “…he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him” (Genesis 32:6).