thinking torah

torah for everyday life

What Parsha is it this week?

The Parsha for this week is Vayigash.

Vayigash is the 11th parsha in sefer Bereshit / Genesis.

The story continues where Parshat Mikeitz ended. Yehuda / Judah pleads with Yosef / Joseph to allow Binyamin to return safely to his father. Joseph reveals himself to his brothers that he is the one they sold into slavery. Joseph convinces his father to bring the entire family to Egypt so that they can survive the famine.

Parshat Vayigash is 106 verses from Bereshit / Genesis 44:18 – 47:27.

The 8th day of Chanukah begins on Sunday night, December 5, 2021, the 2nd of Tevet on the Jewish calendar.

Haftarah for Parshat Vayigash

This week the haftarah comes from Ezekiel 37:15-28.
The prophet symbolically describes the future reuniting of the Jewish people. Though the Jewish people are scattered throughout the world and not always recognizable, there will come a time when God brings them together again as one people.

Candle Lighting Time for Selected Cities

Shabbat begins at sundown on Friday, December 10, 2021.

The Hebrew date is 7 Tevet 5782.


  • Jerusalem 3:56
  • Tel Aviv 4:17
  • Haifa 4:04
  • Beer Sheva 4:19

United States

  • New York 4:10
  • Miami 5:12
  • Chicago 4:01
  • Los Angeles 4:25


  • London 3:33
  • Antwerp 4:16
  • Paris 4:35
  • Moscow 3:38

Here are the main categories of articles on Thinking Torah

chumash – 5 books of moses

Bereshit / Genesis

The Torah begins with God creating the universe and mankind. Though God is concerned with all of mankind, He eventually chooses Avraham and his family to be His messengers to the world.

Shemot / Exodus

This book begins with the Jewish people enslaved in Egypt. God chooses Moshe / Moses to bring His people out of Egypt. After the redemption He gives His people the Torah and commands them to build the Tabernacle.

Vayikra / Leviticus

The focus of this book is the divine service in the Tabernacle. The book describes which offerings to bring and who is qualified to bring them. There is also an emphasis on the holiness required for divine service.

Bamidbar / Numbers

After receiving the Torah and the instruction in Vayikra, the Jewish people are poised to enter the land of Israel. However, they reject the opportunity. This rejection leads to the famous 40 years of “wandering” in the wilderness.

Devarim / Deuteronomy

At the end of 40 years, the Jewish people are camped on the border of the land of Israel. Moses spends the last weeks of his life reviewing the Torah with the people. The Torah ends with the death and burial of Moshe.

the jewish year

Rosh Chodesh / New Month

Rosh Chodesh (literally “head of the month”) is the celebration of the beginning of a new month on the Jewish calendar. Each year has 12 or 13 months that are either 29 or 30 days long.

Yom Tov / Holidays

The pilgrimage festivals in the Torah are Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. There are two other holy days called Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Yom Tov also includes the rabbinic holidays of Purim and Chanukah.

jewish life

Book Reviews

The Jewish people are known as “the people of the Book.” Of course, that book is the Torah. There are many other books that come across my desk every year. Some of the most interesting ones are reviewed here.

Hashkafa / Jewish Outlook

This is a very broad category where I will include topics from the most mundane to the sublime. The point is, Judaism is not merely concerned with Jewish law. There is also deep concern with every aspect of life.

Current Events

Thinking Torah is not a news website and I have no desire to cover the Jewish news in Israel or the rest of the world. However, there will be events that I cannot and will not resist commenting on.