Get seven complete and original sermons for Parshat Vayechi (or purchase them individually)
1. Year-End Lessons from the End of Genesis
This has been one of the strangest years in recent history. President Trump elicits extreme reactions from all directions. Paradoxes abound. We have never been as connected and as disconnected all at once. As we close out the year – which corresponds with the closing out of the Book of Genesis – let’s look back and identify trends that can help us understand where we are headed and what we can improve to get there.
2. Jewish Stereotypes: Lessons from the Lion King
Jews are smart. Jews are frugal. Jews are short. Jews have extended proboscises. Jews are neurotic. Jews are wimps. Jews have power. Jews control the media. Jews control the world… The list of Jewish stereotypes – some accurate, many preposterously anti-Semitic – goes on and on. Here is a Jewish stereotype that is true. One that speaks of the Jews’ purpose and nature: Jews are the Lions of Judah.
3. Is Being Called “Donkey” a Compliment?
Even without being compared to politicians, donkeys get a bum rap. People make fun of their stubbornness, which is sometimes equated with stupidity. Yet, that’s being very unfair to a wondrous animal that can teach us much about our service to our Creator. Indeed, in this week’s Torah reading, we read about how, and why, the donkey exemplifies Issachar, the tribe of Torah scholars.
4. Can We Mortals Become Immortal
Do you want live forever? Do you want your relationships to last till the end of time? No problem – all you have to do is to transform your earthenware body into a glass vessel for your soul. This week’s Torah reading teaches us that it’s actually possible.
5. A New Way to Deal with Darkness?
Do you have someone in your life that is just plain obnoxious? How do we deal with an abusive employer, a corrupt colleague or a hurtful relative? This week’s Torah reading offers us a brilliant yet simple approach that has the power to change your life.
6. A Bumper Sticker for the New Year
In a line or two, bumper stickers can sum up a person’s beliefs. So, what is the Jew’s bumper sticker? The answer lays in a conversation that took place in Egypt 3,521 years ago between Jacob – who was then on his deathbed – and his twelve sons, who would become the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
7. Can You See the Forest for the Trees?
How can we learn to navigate an uncertain future, as we transition from one life-space into another? Let us travel back to one of the first paradigm shifts in history – the death of Jacob, an event that heralded the beginning of the harsh Egyptian exile and the ensuing grand exodus, all of which have parallels in our modern times. Along the way, we learn how to understand time and see our lives as frames of a larger narrative.