This Midrash is very difficult to understand. Every word Yaakov said was true. He did live a very difficult life. He was beset with troubles and distress. He suffered for decades.
There is no better way to inflame a situation than by answering anger with anger; and there is no better way to forestall a fight than to answer anger with calm.
If Ya’akov’s words to Pharaoh were just an exercise in self-mortification about what was too late to change, there would be little to learn from them. But if, as is more likely, they represented part of a strategy of how to continue improving, there is actually a great deal we can learn from them.
You cannot decide whether we should fight or not. We will... That decision is taken...
The Bach seems to be saying that all that was to befall the Jewish people was because we no longer approached the Avodah with the appropriate sense of purpose, and therefore it was taken from us.
Like Yosef, the Chashmonaim were dreamers. Chanukah is the story of dreamers: defeating a mighty army, recapturing and rededicating the Temple, finding a single jar of ritually pure oil in the rubble
This new perspective helps us understand Joseph.
Imagine that the book of your life has already been written – and that you’ve read the chapter headings. How would your life be different? This issue is addressed by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series. Not surprisingly, Rowling was preceded by the Torah
If Yosef was so brilliant, how is it possible he overlooked something as elementary as thinking about what his conduct would lead to?
On Parshat Vayeishev with a nod to Chanukah.
There are many who celebrate the wise, the heroes, and the mystics, and they forget that we must also celebrate the typically non-celebrated, the people who keep the spirit alive, the very spirit that nurtures the more celebrated.
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.