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, […]

November 17, 2019 at 1:34 AM 0 comments

Life is What You Make of It

Life is What You Make of It

Sarah’s life was far from uneventful or without suffering. Her years were colored by the painful longing for a child and then the joy of Yitzchak’s miraculous birth. The first half of her life she lived outside the Land of Israel; she moved there at the age of 65. She was twice taken captive by powerful kings who desired to marry […]

November 16, 2019 at 2:22 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 […]

November 11, 2019 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 […]

November 10, 2019 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 […]

November 10, 2019 at 1:20 AM 2 comments

Do You Feel an Urge to Be Kind?

Do You Feel an Urge to Be Kind?

According to Rashi’s explanation, G-d caused that day to be unnaturally hot in order to spare Avraham the burden of entertaining visitors, but the absence of guests was ultimately a source of anguish for Avraham. Does that mean that G-d’s plan went awry? Was G-d’s interference with the weather patterns a waste? It must be that although the plan was […]

November 10, 2019 at 12:35 AM 1 comment

Parashat Vayeshev – Small actions make a huge difference

Parashat Vayeshev – Small actions make a huge difference

We all struggle with different lusts and desires that are forbidden., but where can we get the power and strength to fight them and not only fight but also be successful! Duration of class:1:08:54       [powerpress]        

November 25, 2018 at 7:58 AM 0 comments

A Jew and His Dreams – Parashat Vayeishev

A Jew and His Dreams – Parashat Vayeishev

  Both of Yosef’s dreams foretold that one day his family would bow before him, but the imagery in the two dreams was not identical. The subjects of his first dream were from the plant kingdom: eleven sheaves of wheat bowed to his sheave. In the second dream, his family was represented by the solar system: the sun, the moon […]

November 24, 2018 at 2:51 AM 2 comments

Dreaming to Toil

Dreaming to Toil

“…And behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field – bereishis 37:7 וְהִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ מְאַלְּמִים אֲלֻמִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׂדֶה – בראשית לז, ז Yosef and Pharaoh both had dreams involving grain. A noticeable difference between these two dreams, however, reflects the fundamental disparity between what each of them represents. Yosef’s dream opened with a scene of toil. In his […]

November 24, 2018 at 2:04 AM 0 comments

Filled with Emptiness – Parashat Vayeishev

Filled with Emptiness – Parashat Vayeishev

  Our Sages teach that water is a metaphor for Torah (Bava Kama 17a). In view of that, we can understand why the presence of snakes and scorpions (in the pit where Yosef was thrown) is hinted in the Torah with the superfluous phrase “there was no water in it,” instead of the verse stating explicitly that the pit was […]

November 23, 2018 at 5:09 AM 0 comments

Parashat Vayishlach – Low is really high… soft is really strong

Parashat Vayishlach – Low is really high… soft is really strong

  Duration of class: 1:06:27       [powerpress]        

November 20, 2018 at 7:27 AM 0 comments

Don’t Make Yourself at Home

Don’t Make Yourself at Home

The literal translation of the word גַּרְתִּי is “I sojourned”, meaning, “I lived there as a foreigner” (from the root-word גֵר.) Yaakov emphasized that he was always a stranger in the house of Lavan, and never became a permanent resident. The word גַּרְתִּי according to its literal explanation, “I sojourned,” is truly the secret behind this word’s other interpretation – based on its numerical […]

November 19, 2018 at 3:16 AM 0 comments

You Should Really Get Out a Bit

You Should Really Get Out a Bit

Dinah’s socialness was inherited from her mother, explains Rashi. The Torah’s association of these two women who “went out” suggests that their presence in the public arena was considered excessive by the Torah’s standards of modest conduct. Despite the value of a lesson in feminine dignity, this interpretation seems contrary to the Torah’s trademark sensitivity. Would the Torah make a […]

November 19, 2018 at 3:08 AM 0 comments

It’s Not Petty When It’s Your Child

It’s Not Petty When It’s Your Child

It is remarkable that such a crucial aspect of Jewish faith, our eternal hope of survival, is commemorated with a law so narrow in scope. The prohibition of eating the sciatic nerve seems to be a mere technicality in the laws of Kosher, applicable only to the precise nerve that the angel wounded in Yaakov, which is in and of […]

November 19, 2018 at 2:28 AM 0 comments

The Jewish Way in Responsible Adulthood

The Jewish Way in Responsible Adulthood

  Shimon and Levi are each referred to in this verse as איש, a man. The Midrash calculates that this story took place barely thirteen years after the birth of Levi, the younger of the two brothers, and yet Levi is called a man, indicating that at the age of thirteen he had the emotional maturity of a grown man. […]

November 18, 2018 at 2:30 AM 0 comments

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

Parashat Vayeitzei – When are we allowed to lie?

Parashat Vayeitzei – When are we allowed to lie?

  Duration of class:1:02:49       [powerpress]        

November 11, 2018 at 7:26 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