There’s Nothing Like Home

There’s Nothing Like Home

“…And leah said, “…now my husband will reside with me, for i have borne him six sons,” so she named him zevulun…”  – bereishis 30:20 וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה . . הַפַּעַם יִזְבְּלֵנִי אִישִׁי כִּי יָלַדְתִּי לוֹ שִׁשָּׁה בָנִים וַתִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ זְבֻלוּן – בראשית ל, כ When our matriarch Leah bore her sixth son, she named him Zevulun, a derivative of […]

November 12, 2018 at 2:43 AM 0 comments

The Residential Real Estate Guy – Parashat Vayeitzei

The Residential Real Estate Guy – Parashat Vayeitzei

Your name reflects more than just your parents’ feelings and whims at the moment you were born. According to the teachings of Kabbalah, parents are endowed by G-d with the wisdom to choose names that are associated with the unique source from which their child’s soul stems. Hence, though Leah attributed her choice of the name Zevulun to the milestone […]

November 10, 2018 at 3:07 AM 1 comment

How Yaakov Made His Fortune

How Yaakov Made His Fortune

  It is out of character for the Rambam, in a work strictly dedicated to documenting the laws of the Torah, to tell us of the reward that someone in history received for the observance of a particular law. Understandably then, the Rambam does not mention Yaakov’s reward for putting full effort into his work as mere words of inspiration, […]

November 10, 2018 at 2:48 AM 0 comments

The Rest of the Story

The Rest of the Story

“….On the third day, Lavan was informed that Yaakov had fled. He took along his kinsmen and pursued him for the distance of seven day journey….” – Bereishit 31:22-23 ״…ויוגד ללבן ביום השלישי כי ברח יעקב, ויקח את אחיו עמו וירדוף אחריו דרך שבעת ימים….״ – בראשית לא, כב-כג   There is a famous teaching of the Baal Shem Tov […]

November 10, 2018 at 1:59 AM 0 comments

Good Night, Yaakov – Parashat Vayeitzei

Good Night, Yaakov – Parashat Vayeitzei

For fourteen years before this fateful night and twenty years after, Yaakov never lay down to settle in for a good night’s sleep. Now, Yaakov was spending the night at “the place”, precisely the spot where the Beis Hamikdash, Judaism’s holiest site, would some day stand. How could it be that specifically here Yaakov lay down for a relaxing and […]

November 10, 2018 at 1:44 AM 0 comments

Make the Time to Build a Home

Make the Time to Build a Home

Yaakov and Zevulun represent two opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to Torah study. Yaakov is called “an innocent man, who dwelled in tents (25:27),” referring to his extended studies in the “tents of Shem and Ever (Rashi),” the academies of Torah study of his time. Zevulun, on the other hand, famously arranged with Yissachar that “Zevulun will […]

November 10, 2018 at 1:06 AM 0 comments

Gifts from a Minimalist – Parashat Toldot

Gifts from a Minimalist – Parashat Toldot

At the age of one hundred and twenty-three, Yitzchak was five years younger than his mother had been at her passing, and there was still a good chance that he would live another fifty years or more, as his father had. (In fact, he ultimately lived to 180, five years longer than his father.) Even his mother’s passing at the […]

November 3, 2018 at 1:25 AM 0 comments

Be Practical, but Spiritual…..

Be Practical, but Spiritual…..

  Avraham could not possibly have observed all the mitzvos in their physical form. In order to physically observe the mitzvah of wearing Tefilin, for example, the Tefilin must contain certain parshiyos, portions of the Torah, some of which speak about the Exodus from Egypt. As the Exodus took place more than three centuries after Avraham’s passing, Avraham’s fulfillment of this […]

November 3, 2018 at 1:13 AM 0 comments

Beneath the Surface of Eisav

Beneath the Surface of Eisav

Yitzchak was blind in his old age, but he couldn’t have been completely oblivious to Eisav’s unrefined character and conduct. His intentions to bless Eisav, nonetheless, must have been based not only on what he didn’t see or know about Eisav, but on what he did see in him. The Torah relates that Yitzchak devoted a lot of energy to […]

November 3, 2018 at 12:50 AM 1 comment

Better Off Blind – Parashat Toldot

Better Off Blind – Parashat Toldot

To say that blindness is debilitating is an understatement. In fact, Rashi comments later (28:10), “Because Yitzchak’s eyes had become dim and he was confined in his house, he was like a dead person.” Why had G-d caused this to happen? According to one explanation brought by Rashi, this was to enable Yaakov to receive the blessings that Yitzchak intended […]

November 2, 2018 at 1:20 AM 1 comment

Mitzvos for Misses and Mrs. – Parashat Chayei Sarah

Mitzvos for Misses and Mrs. – Parashat Chayei Sarah

A cloud began hovering over the tent immediately upon Rivka’s arrival. When she settled in and began going about her daily activities, Yitzchak noticed a special blessing in the food she prepared. When the candles that Rivka lit before Shabbos were still burning a full week later, Yitzchak became fully confident that Rivka was an heir to his mother’s saintliness, […]

October 28, 2018 at 1:34 AM 0 comments

Your Candles, Your Home

Your Candles, Your Home

With Sarah’s passing, Avraham (and Yitzchak) assumed the duty of lighting the candles in their tent each Friday in honor of Shabbos, (as the Halacha requires in circumstances where the woman of the house can not light them).  We see from Rashi, however, that the miracle of the Shabbos candles burning all week long, as Sarah’s had, was only restored […]

October 27, 2018 at 8:29 PM 0 comments

Parenting is Forever – Parashat Chayei Sarah

Parenting is Forever – Parashat Chayei Sarah

Yitzchak was a grown man of forty when Eliezer set off to find him a wife. The strong education that he’d received from his parents had clearly left the desired impact. When, at G-d’s command, Avraham had sought to offer him as a sacrifice, Yitzchak had been equally willing to go ahead with it (see Rashi to 22:8). At this […]

October 27, 2018 at 2:27 AM 0 comments

Aging Well – Parashat Chayei Sarah

Aging Well – Parashat Chayei Sarah

When the Torah depicts an aging person as “advanced in days”, this refers not to the length of his life, but to the effect that each day of his life has have left on him. This is the meaning of the twofold expression, “old, advanced in days”, for it is possible for someone to be old, but not advanced in […]

October 27, 2018 at 12:31 AM 0 comments

A Legacy of Dust and Ashes

A Legacy of Dust and Ashes

It was not only because Avraham humbly described himself using the metaphor of “dust and ashes” that his descendants merited mitzvos that involve dust and ashes. Rather, these two mitzvos in particular, the red heifer and the Sotah water, reflect the heritage of Avraham as expressed in his words, “I am but dust and ashes”. With these words, Avraham effectively […]

October 21, 2018 at 4:46 AM 1 comment

Judging by the Weather

Judging by the Weather

In the midst of conversing with G-d, Avraham sees three men approaching and runs to welcome them to his home. The Gemara (Shabbos 127a) learns from Avraham’s behavior that hospitality to guests is greater than receiving the Shechina, the Divine Presence. The question is, however, having no example or precedent from which to learn, how did Avraham know that it […]

October 21, 2018 at 2:43 AM 2 comments

Angels Have Feelings Too – Parashat Vayeira

Angels Have Feelings Too – Parashat Vayeira

Avraham hosted three angels in the midst of being visited by G-d, from which we learn that hospitality surpasses receiving the Divine Presence. Yet, considering that Avraham’s guests were angels, who had no need for the food and drink he offered, did Avraham in fact fulfill the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim with this act of hospitality? In hindsight, the cause for which […]

October 21, 2018 at 1:20 AM 2 comments

Sacrificing Your Faith for Your G-d

Sacrificing Your Faith for Your G-d

  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. Chassidut explains that they drew their strength from Avraham, who “opened the channels of self-sacrifice”, enabling his descendants to access the supernatural ability […]

October 20, 2018 at 2:35 AM 1 comment

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 […]

October 14, 2018 at 3:01 PM 0 comments

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 12, 2018 at 2:55 AM 0 comments