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11 Tevet 5779 -
? Wednesday, December 19, 2018


The Brotherhood

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

Geneivah And Gezeilah

At the conclusion of this week’s parshah, the Torah discusses the halachos of one who stole from another. The pasuk says, “veheishiv es hagezeilah asher gazal – and he shall return the stolen object that he stole.” We derive from this that there is a mitzvas assei to return a stolen object.

The Concept Of Arvus

In the beginning of this week’s parshah Yehudah tells Yosef that he must allow Binyamin to return to his father because Yehudah had guaranteed Binyamin’s return. As the pasuk says: “ki avdecha arav es hanar… – for your servant has guaranteed the boy…” (Bereishis 44:32; see also 43:9).

Feeling The Miracles

The Torah tells us that Yisro heard about the wonders Hashem had brought, and he joined the Jewish people. Rashi explains that while Yisro heard about all of the miracles, the two that actually moved him were the splitting of the sea and the war with Amalek. The others were impressive, but these alone actually affected him.

Parshat Chayei Sarah

In his book, Thirteen Days (1968), Robert Kennedy publicized the inner workings of the Kennedy White House during the terrible days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He described how the President’s special advisory group, known as ExComm, debated the options available to defuse the crisis in light of the intelligence presented to them.

Your Middos Are Killing You

A therapist will show the child a picture of a person’s face and then help her identify the emotion that person was most likely feeling.

Questions Have Answers – Answers Don’t Have Answers

Korach wasn’t approaching Moshe to seek the truth; his sole intention was to mock and discredit Moshe.

Minor Acquisitions In Halacha

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

A Whole Peace

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Parshas HaChodesh: Fostering Newness

The Jewish people do not usher in months like the rest of the world.

‘Setting Limits’

“Isn’t it ironic that kids whose parents fail to set and enforce limits feel unloved and angry? Although they tend to test and protest, we have learned over and over again that limits are what kids really want. Invariably, when we talk with out-of-control teenagers or adults who were juvenile delinquents and lucky enough to survive, we ask them, ‘If you could go back to when you were a child, what would you change?’ Most of them say something like, ‘I wish my parents had reeled me in when I was a kid. Why didn’t they make me behave?’

Who Performed Avraham’s Bris?

In this week’s parshah Hashem commands Avraham Avinu to perform the mitzvah of bris milah. The pasuk tells us that Avraham was 99 when he performed the bris milah on himself. The Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (29) and Tosafos, in Rosh Hashanah 11a, say that Avraham’s bris was performed on Yom Kippur. The Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer adds that Shem, Noach’s son, performed the bris on Avraham. There are several explanations as to why Avraham had Shem perform his milah.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Vayeshev: The Rhymes and Rhythms of Biblical History

How could Ya’akov make the same 'mistake' as his father, to favor one child over another after all the troubles that plagued him resulting from Yitzchak favoring Esav?

Is Milk Kosher?

The Shita Mekubetzes there asks why the Gemara did not cite a source to permit the consumption of milk from a pasuk in this week’s parsha.

Between Hope & Despair

The Tisha b'Av experience is a spiritual affliction, "Acedia," a "sadness, a disgust with life, which comes from our inability to get along with ourselves, our disunion with God."

Boundless Boundaries

Boundless Boundaries are the point of the imperfect structures we build as our Sukkot. The Sukkah is intended to provide the security we need to soar.

The Merit Of Others

Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest human being who ever lived. The Rambam tells us that of all the prophets he alone was able to speak to Hashem directly. Normally, a prophet must go into an altered state of consciousness to experience Hashem. Otherwise the experience would cause sensory overload, and he would die.

Vayechi: Who Is Joseph’s Real Father?

When Joseph agrees to bury Jacob in Canaan, Jacob bows to him in relief - why?

Take The Long Road Home

Moshe realized that the halt to their march will have major repercussions. The body that had been so carefully assembled, with a single purpose and goal, began to fray.

Purim And The Joy Of Life

This concept should be very relevant to us as we, too, should be happy beyond description.

Was Yaakov Obligated To Respect Yitzchak?

After Yaakov received the berachos from his father and was leaving the room, the pasuk says, “Vayeitzei Yaakov mei’eis penei aviv, Yitzchak – And Yaakov left the face of his father, Yitzchak.” Rav Meir Simcha of Davinsk wrote in his sefer on Chumash, Meshech Chachmah, that the reason why the pasuk used a strange wording – leaving his face – is because the Gemara in Yuma 53b says that when a talmid leaves the presence of a rebbe he should not turn his face to leave; rather, his face should remain in the direction of the rebbe. Rav Meir Simcha continues by citing the Gemara: Rava acted in this manner when leaving his rebbe, Rav Yosef. Therefore the pasuk is teaching us that Yaakov followed this same process.

Back and Forth

Our portion is about lives in which we experience moments of greatness and moments of insignificance; accomplishments and failures; Torah is not only for the 'perfect' person; It guides and nurtures the rest of us as well.

The Disney Museum Of Kiddush Hashem

Respect for basic human dignity is such a powerful concept that it overwhelms some areas of Jewish law.

Vayikra – With A Small Aleph

Operating the crane is Joe. Joe is overweight and a chain smoker. Another worker approaches Joe and says, “Joe, look at you! 80 pounds overweight, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. You must do something about your health. Go the gym, work out, and get in shape.”

The Redemption Blueprint

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

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