Yosef’s struggle with his brothers was ideological, whether we are to influence the world by example from the private and safe existence of our tent (the brothers), or whether take more risks by going outside and being heavily involved with the rest of civilization (Yosef)
Everyone should know about Hashem!
Yaakov was the epitome of a shomer.
While his only motivation may have been to earn a living for himself, he is providing a substantial gain to those he does business with. In this scenario, $850,000 of his efforts are going to vendors, suppliers, and employees. An
In the very beginning of his introduction, the author writes that it is crucial for a person to trust in Hashem because if he doesn’t, then Hashem will remove His direct and special providential care.
The Torah tells stories of people who heard the voice of God and risked it all, However, for those of us who have not heard the voice of God, our sages suggest a more nuanced approach to risk.
Esau handled the meeting with Jacob far more grace than most people manage an argument with a spouse. Not bad behavior for a person we are taught is one of the most evil biblical characters!
Human interpretation of G-d’s work is always reaching beyond ourselves, and we should be suspicious of any theory that successfully explains everything in Torah – more likely we are imposing our own vision on the text.
Where there's a will, there's a way.
At times it almost seems as if Hashem is deliberately sabotaging our well-laid plans for serving Him. And it doesn’t make much sense.
Jacob did not have problems with 'doorways.' He experienced one emotional earthquake after another, and managed to maintain focus. No 'event boundary' issues for our hero. How did he do it?
Ya’akov did not pray for Rachel to conceive because he did not believe in "forcing God’s hand." He asks, “Am I instead of God? God knows best whether to give children or not. All I can do is ask.”
Leaders often have to make difficult decisions of critical importance.
We are what we make ourselves.
A man is approaching. Do I smile and nod, or do I look the other way? He’s looking at me; do I turn my head to respond or do I look out at the trees?
Reflections on "mirror images"
It is unwise to see contemporary events as exact replays of Biblical history, but it is valuable to recognize that Torah and tradition offer narratives of hop--as well as gloom--about Jewish national relationships
Sarah Imeinu was a strong, emotionally stable woman. She had unshakable bitachon, having lived through many trials and travails.
A dog that barks much is never a good hunter. -Proverb
Avraham and Sarah ended up in the land of Canaan. Canaan? The most debased and decadent society! Yet, there Avraham and Sarah build their destiny and shape world history. Canaan actually held the key to Avraham and Sarah's redemption.
"A father of philosophy, the father of the Hebrews and his slave get together,,," sounds like the start of an ancient joke but read on...
Yishmael’s challenge was whether to come back at all. Having been so clearly rejected, why would he want to have anything more to do with his father Avraham?
That understanding is enough to evoke terror in any man’s heart, and we can certainly understand why he didn’t move.
Arrogance and the punishment of Angels
Religion must face the question of how its followers should behave while members of a corrupt society. How should they relate to the norms of that society, especially when those norms are embodied in law?