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Weekly Parsha

TOLDOT 11/17/2014 04:18 PM

Perfect parents do not always produce perfect children. This week’s parsha is a perfect illustration of this truism of life and family. There apparently was very little that Yitzchak and Rivka could do to reclaim Eisav to their way of life and level of morality. He was, perhaps, incapable of moral improvement the moment he was born. There existed, and perhaps still exists, a great debate...

תולדות 11/16/2014 01:21 PM

הורים מושלמים לא תמיד מצליחים לגדל ילדים מושלמים. פרשת השבוע היא דוגמה מצוינת לאמת הזאת שאנחנו רואים בחיי משפחות. נראה שיצחק ורבקה יכולים היו לעשות אך מעט כדי להחזיר את עשיו לאורח החיים שלהם ולרמה נאותה של מוסרית. אולי...

CHAYEI SARAH 11/10/2014 01:30 PM

The loss of one’s beloved spouse, especially after many years and decades of marriage and shared life, is always a traumatic and shattering blow. Those of us, who unfortunately have also experienced this in our own lives, can testify as to the emotional damage and even physical harm that this sad experience can occasion. We see from the life of our father Jacob that even decades later he...

VAYERA 11/3/2014 01:49 PM

For the Jewish people, one of the hallmarks of our great founding parents was their ability to maintain communication with their Creator. God, so to speak, was a constant living presence in their lives, thoughts and actions. And they were able to hear God’s voice, though God has no voice, and to visualize God even though God has no physical appearance. God spoke to them through the inner voice...

LECH LECHA 10/27/2014 12:57 PM

Relocating one's self is a challenging task at any age. Doing so in the later stages of life is doubly challenging. It is no wonder that the rabbis of the Mishnah characterized our father Avraham’s move from Mesopotamia to the Land of Israel as being one of the ten major tests of his turbulent life. Leaving all that is familiar and attempting to integrate one's self in a new and strange...

NOACH 10/20/2014 01:11 PM

The main character described in this week's Torah reading is naturally Noach himself. I think that the Torah wishes to illustrate, through Noach’s personality and his reactions to the impending disaster and to the world afterwards - the challenges of being a survivor. Everyone who has ever survived a serious challenge or tragedy replays in one's mind what might have been done differently,...

BERESHITH 10/13/2014 06:27 PM

In the whirlwind cascade of events that fill this opening parsha of the Torah, one can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer number of subjects discussed. Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, after they exercised their free will to disobey God's commandment, is an important issue to dwell upon and discuss. What life was like within...

VZOT HABRACHA 10/6/2014 04:35 PM

Very shortly we will conclude the reading of the Torah cycle for this year. The Torah ends with the description of the passing of Moshe. The Torah pointedly tells us that there never will be another Moshe. We are also taught that there will never be another generation such as the generation of Jews that were redeemed from Egypt and who accepted the Torah on Mount Sinai. And, we are also taught...

ROSH HASHANAH 9/22/2014 01:37 PM

The Torah emphasizes to us that the day of Rosh Hashanah is a day of remembrance and of memory. Heaven is able to recall everything and everyone; human beings, less so. Human memory is selective, arbitrary and many if not most times faulty and certainly somewhat inaccurate. People have often told me that they heard me say such and such in a public lecture and I have no recollection whatsoever...

HAAZINU 9/22/2014 01:06 PM

There are two major songs/poems that appear in the Torah. One is the great song of deliverance, which was the reaction of Moshe and the Jewish people to their being saved from the bondage of Egypt and the waters of Yam Suf. The other is that of this week's parsha, Haazinu. This song/poem is also authored by Moshe but this was composed at the end of the forty-year sojourn of the Jewish people in...