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

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 […]

October 12, 2018 at 2:45 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 […]

October 12, 2018 at 1:42 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 […]

October 12, 2018 at 12:01 AM 0 comments

The Only Self to Sacrifice is Your Own

The Only Self to Sacrifice is Your Own

“….And only Noach and those with him in the Ark survived….” (Bereishit 7:23) ״…וישאר אך נח ואשר אתו בתבה…״ – בראשית ז,כג In our holy task of providing the world with its spiritual sustenance, we must take a lesson from Noach’s devotion to tending to the needs of his passengers and dependents, the animal kingdom. Despite his saintliness and piety, Noach […]

October 6, 2018 at 2:28 AM 1 comment

Living the Dream – Parashat Noach

Living the Dream – Parashat Noach

 ״….צא מן התבה אתה ואשתך ובניך ונשי בניך אתך: כל החיה אשר אתך מכל בשר בעוף ובבהמה ובכל הרמש הרומש על הארץ הוצא אתך….״ – בראשית ח, טז-יז In his prophecies of the Messianic era, Yeshayahu (11:6) describes how “the wolf shall live with the lamb, and a leopard shall lie with a young goat…and a small child shall lead […]

October 6, 2018 at 1:18 AM 3 comments

Choose Your Role Models Carefully – Parashat Noach

Choose Your Role Models Carefully – Parashat Noach

“…..Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generations….” – (Bereishit 6:9) ״…נח איש צדיק תמים היה בדורותיו…״ – בראשית ו,ט The two opinions brought by Rashi do not necessarily disagree regarding Noach’s actual level of righteousness. It’s possible that all agree that in comparison to Avraham, Noach’s righteousness was far from ideal.  Nevertheless, Noach was not entirely to blame […]

October 5, 2018 at 5:23 PM 3 comments

The Maturing of Humankind – Parashat Noach

The Maturing of Humankind – Parashat Noach

In the aftermath of the Flood, the world was introduced to two seemingly opposite extremes. On the one hand, the earth achieved stability and permanence – after the Flood, G-d swore to never again destroy the world. Conversely, the human life span was drastically shortened: from an average close to 1000 years before the Flood, to an average of 100-200 […]

October 5, 2018 at 2:46 PM 0 comments

You Will, But When Already?

You Will, But When Already?

“…And it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day…” – Bereishit 1:31 וירא אלהים את כל אשר עשה והנה טוב מאד ויהי ערב ויהי בקר יום הששי   – בראשית א, לא At the conclusion of its account of the first day of creation, the Torah sums up the day saying, “It was evening and it was morning, one […]

October 1, 2018 at 1:44 AM 0 comments

A Local Source of Energy – Parashat Vayechi

A Local Source of Energy – Parashat Vayechi

“….And yosef died at the age of one hundred and ten years, and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt….” – Bereishit 47:26 ״….וימת יוסף בן מאה ועשר שנים ויחנטו אותו ויישם בארון במצרים…״ – בראשית מז, כו Upon concluding the reading of any of the five books of the Torah, the entire community customarily calls out, […]

December 29, 2017 at 1:00 AM 0 comments

A Tale of Two Coffins – Parashat Vayechi

A Tale of Two Coffins –  Parashat Vayechi

“….And his sons carried him….” – Bereishit 50:13 ״….וישאו אותו בניו…״ – בראשית נ,יג Rashi notes that Yaakov’s coffin was carried by all but two of his sons, Levi and Yosef, who were replaced by Menasheh and Ephraim instead. “Levi shall not carry it because he (i.e., his tribe) is destined to carry the Aron. Yosef shall not carry it […]

December 28, 2017 at 1:13 AM Comments are Disabled

If You Can Beat Them – Parashat Vayechi

If You Can Beat Them – Parashat Vayechi

The Midrash explains that the “man” that Shimon and Levi are said to have killed in their wrath is actually a reference to quite a few men: the entire adult male population of Shechem. Yaakov calls all of them “a man,” because they were like no more than one man before Shimon and Levi. What place does this tribute to […]

December 27, 2017 at 3:59 AM 0 comments

Insider Information

Insider Information

“…And Yaakov called for his sons and said, “gather and i will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days.” – Bereishis 49:1 וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים – בראשית מט, א The Talmud (Pesachim 56a) explains that Yaakov sought to reveal to his sons the end of […]

December 26, 2017 at 2:26 AM 0 comments

A Mother’s Sacrifice – Parashat Vayechi

A Mother’s Sacrifice – Parashat Vayechi

“…..I buried her there along the road to Efras, which is Bies-Lechem…..” – Bereishit 48:7 ״…..ואקברה שם בדרך אפרת היא בית לחם…״ – בראשית מח,ז Rachel’s burial place would naturally have been in Me’aras Hamachpela, alongside her husband. Instead, Rachel was buried on the roadside in order to hasten her children’s eventual return from exile, as explained in the Midrash.“When […]

December 25, 2017 at 1:37 AM 0 comments