I associate various Torah portions with memories. I remember Shelach Lecha as the week I became a Jew, and the week I left home for rabbinical school. I remember Yitro as the first time I first chanted Torah for the congregation. And I remember Miketz because it was the portion I was assigned for my first d’var Torah in rabbinical school.
On the one hand, the stories in Miketz have been favorites of mine ever since I was little: Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams! Joseph becomes the Prime Minister of Egypt! Joseph faces his brothers again! And on the other hand I was going to speak before the whole school, and I wanted to say something profound about the Joseph story. Rabbi Dr. Michael Marmur was assigned to me as a mentor for the first sermon, and I was as intimidated by his reputation as Joseph’s brothers must have been in Pharaoh’s court.
I didn’t say anything profound that week. It was a fine learning experience: Rabbi Marmur taught me how to dig into the text for something coherent to say, and I said something reasonably coherent. I remember, with blushes now, my overblown ambitions for that sermon.
However, I have some wonderful divrei Torah for you from people with more practice at it than I had back in 2002!
The Torah’s Secret History of Conversion by Rabbi Marc Katz
The Strange Case of the Disappearing Women by Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild
Confronting Their Past by Rabbi Stephen Fuchs
Light One Candle by Rabbi Dan Fink
The Shamash is the Tall One in the Middle by Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser
A Dutch Proverb by Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz
Miketz with Rabbi Ellie by Rabbi Eleanor Steinman (VIDEO)