It’s About the Departure, Not the Journey

It’s About the Departure, Not the Journey

The details about the place from where Avram will be leaving seem entirely superfluous. A journey to a new land automatically requires leaving your current (and previous) land, and obviously your home and place of birth! On the other hand, knowing the details about where he’d be relocating to would have helped him plan and prepare for the journey. Yet, […]

October 23, 2017 at 2:55 AM 0 comments

Where Our Story Really Begins

Where Our Story Really Begins

The Torah gives us no introduction about Avram’s accomplishments in the first seventy-five years of his life, before telling us that G-d commanded him to leave his homeland (and promised him great rewards in return). Even a short description saying that Avram was a righteous person who found favor in G-d’s eyes, like the introduction given for Noach, is not […]

October 22, 2017 at 2:39 AM 1 comment

Lasting Effect

Lasting Effect

“…And my covenant shall be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant…” – Bereishit 17:13 והיתה בריתי בבשרכם לברית עולם – בראשית יז, יג “Our father Avraham observed the entire Torah before it was given,” says the Talmud (Kiddushin 82a). Chassidus explains, however, that the mitzvos our forefathers observed of their own initiative did not have the ability to impact and […]

November 11, 2016 at 11:45 AM 0 comments

Old Enough For What?

Old Enough For What?

In a covenant, the two parties commit to remain devoted to each other unconditionally, even if eventual discoveries or circumstances might be cause for them to lose favor in each other’s eyes. Yet, human beings are inherently limited and therefore undergo constant changes, such that there is no way to guarantee that even a covenant will truly last forever. The […]

November 10, 2016 at 12:01 AM 0 comments

The Reasonable Bad Guy

The Reasonable Bad Guy

Og was a rationalist and a cynic (see Beraishis Rabba 53), but he could still respect humanitarian causes based on rhyme and reason. So it wasn’t surprising that he’d encourage Avram to save his own flesh and blood from captivity. Yet, at their root, Og’s motives were entirely impure. For though the cause was justified and logical, Og knew that […]

November 9, 2016 at 1:42 AM 0 comments

Food of Fanatics

Food of Fanatics

Og’s encounter with Avram while the latter was fulfilling the mitzvah of Matzah played a critical role in molding Og’s plans. That is why the Midrash states two seemingly unrelated facts about Og’s name and his motives in immediate succession. Matzah is called “food of faith” in the Zohar. Avram’s engrossment in this faith-building activity reflected his super-rational commitment to G-d, […]

November 8, 2016 at 1:11 AM 1 comment

Your Brother’s Comfort is Your Own

Your Brother’s Comfort is Your Own

“…On the third of Mar-Cheshvan, we begin the prayers requesting rain. r’ Gamliel says: on the seventh of the month—fifteen days after the festival of Sukkos—in order that the last jew might have reached the river euphrates…” –  (Mishna, Taanis 1:3) בשלושה במרחשוון שואלים את הגשמים. רבן גמליאל אומר, בשבעה בו; חמישה עשר יום אחר החג, כדי שיגיע האחרון שבישראל […]

October 22, 2015 at 9:26 AM 0 comments

Sacrificing Your Faith for Your G-od – Parashat Lech Lecha

Sacrificing Your Faith for Your G-od – Parashat Lech Lecha

To knowingly give up your life runs contrary to the basic human instincts of survival. Yet, our history is filled with kedoshim, holy martyrs who accepted death rather than submit to a belief contrary to the Torah. Chassidus explains that they drew their strength from Avraham, who “opened the channels of self-sacrifice”, enabling his descendants to access the supernatural ability to […]

October 30, 2014 at 3:01 PM 0 comments