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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Pastoral Parsha

Mishpatim – Surpassing Slavery

Posted on January 29, 2019

Dr. Friedman and Dr. Yehuda wonder why the first law that our chapter opens with is slavery and what that might mean for a nation that has just been liberated.  …

Yitro – Mastering Mentorship

Posted on January 23, 2019

Yitro stands as an unparalleled example of excellence in mentorship in the Torah.…

Beshalach – Bemoaning Blessings

Posted on January 15, 2019

When the people complain might it be a reflection of a deeper and more complex relationship with G-d emerging in our parsha?…

Bo – Darkness and Depression

Posted on January 8, 2019

The plague of darkness in Parshat Bo, this week’s Torah portion, is described in vivid detail. Drs. Friedman and Yehuda find the description reminiscent of the psychological plague of melancholic depression.…

Va’eira – Hardened Hearts

Posted on January 2, 2019

How is the word heart used in other contexts in the parsha that might shed light on the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart? Why do people hold on to the hardness in their own hearts despite the pain that it causes others?…

Shemot – Integrating Identities

Posted on December 27, 2018

Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s house but in the first chapter of the Book of Shemot he is forced to make a choice. What are the psychological factors in Moses’s identity struggle and ultimate choice to claim his birth status?…

VaYechi – Becoming Bitter

Posted on December 19, 2018

Drs. Friedman and Yehuda look at the “blessings” Jacob bestows upon his sons at the end of his life. How did Jacob, who had so much success in his life, had a large family, end up before Pharaoh speaking of bitterness.…

VaYigash – Breakthrough Between Brothers

Posted on December 12, 2018

Joseph’s identity is finally revealed in this incredibly dramatic, penultimate parsha in Genesis. Joseph breaks down and the question he asks is… is my father still alive?…

Mikeitz – Triggering Trauma

Posted on December 5, 2018

Why does Joseph have to leave the room to cry? The pastoral team delves into the complex emotions that can be triggered by traumatic memories.…

VaYeishev – Responsibility Reigns

Posted on November 28, 2018

As the family grows we no longer face a binary choice between rivals – who of the 12 children will prove worthy of the leadership of Israel?…

VaYishlach – Reaping Reconciliation

Posted on November 21, 2018

Esau and Jacob meet again in a moment rife with tension and drama. The power pod team unpacks the nature of reconciliation and the internal process of change that is a necessary predicate to coming together again.…

VaYeitzei – Divining Dreams

Posted on November 13, 2018

A deep dive into dreams in our parsha. What did Yaakov’s dream mean? What do we do with dreams in therapy and how does this change our reading of dreams in the Torah?…