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‘From A Friend’

That was G-d's original request, that Moshe "please" speak to the people and request that they borrow and share with their own friends - their fellow Jews, and demonstrate fraternity and devotion.

What Is Darkness?

There is a question as to whether darkness is its literal meaning, or if it is simply the absence of light. The fact that light overcomes darkness is not an indication that darkness is merely a lack of light.

Shabbos Mevorchim Shevat

The month of Shevat, according to the Sefer Yetzirah, is associated with the letter tzaddik. A Tzaddik is, literally, a righteous person, one who eats to live, to have the energy to serve the Ribono shel Olam – versus the gluttonous, insatiable kind that live to eat, to satisfy their corporeal cravings.

Parshat Vaeira

Moshe's name would forever remind him of the kindness that Pharaoh's daughter did for him by taking him out of the Nile, and serve as a lodestar to him as he interacts with his people.

The Multidimensional Four Cups Of Wine

In this week’s parshah (Shemos 6:6) Hashem tells Moshe to tell the Bnei Yisrael the four leshonos of geulah: v’hotzeisi, v’hitzalti, v’ga’alti, and v’lakachti. The Mishnah in Pesachim 99b says that a poor man should be given four cups of wine, even from money that is allotted for tzedakah. Rashi there quotes a Yerushalmi in Pesachim that cites Rabbi Yochanan’s opinion that the four cups of wine that we are commanded to drink at the Pesach Seder correspond to the four leshonos of geulah as mentioned above.

The Measure Of The Man

Before each person is born, he is predestined for certain abilities and talents, a particular level of intelligence, and an exact disposition and temperament. At the end of his days, he will be compared to what he could have become. How far did he grow? How much did he accomplish with the tools given to him? This system is subjective. How much of his potential did he fulfill?

Shenayim Mikra V’echad Targum

This week we begin reading sefer and parshas Shemos. The parshah begins with the words “v’eileh shemos bnei Yisrael habaim Mitzraimah.”

Shmot: If Midrash is Real, Why Isn’t It Peshat?

We need to put ourselves into the eyes of Pharaoh's daughter.

One Nation, Indivisible

When Moshe came of age, he went out to visit his brothers, to share in their suffering. What he saw caused him great anguish.

Shabbos: A Day With Hashem: The Inside Story

On the ninth of Teves Ezra HaSofer was niftar. The Gemara (Megilah 15a) tells us that Ezra was actually Malachi – the last prophet. With his passing, the glorious era of nevuah, prophecy, came to an end.

Yosef’s Immunity And Its Message For Our Times

The belief in the power of the evil eye and the desire to ward off its deleterious spell are rooted firmly in Jewish historical consciousness. Indeed, the Talmud is replete with numerous references to the notion of ayin hara and takes its existence for granted.

Vayechi: Who Is Joseph’s Real Father?

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

Sensitivity Of A Tzaddik

Yaakov Avinu spent the final seventeen years of his life in Mitzrayim. While there he lived in peace for the first time in many years and remained in that state for the rest of his life. Near the end of his days he called in his beloved son Yosef and made an impassioned request: “Please do not bury me in Mitzrayim.”

Why Did Yosef Have To Swear?

This week’s parshah begins with Yaakov Avinu on his deathbed. He called for and requested of Yosef not to bury him in Mitzrayim, but rather in Eretz Yisrael. Although Yosef agreed to fulfill this request, Yaakov asked him to swear that he would keep his word, which he did.

Parshas Vayigash: Why did Serach Live Such A Long Life?

Shemos Rabbah states that Yaakov transmitted the “secret of the redemption.”

A Rosh Chodesh Celebration

Just as the moon waxes and wanes and then totally disappears from view before returning to the night sky, so, too, the Jewish people.

Who Was Dinah’s Mother?

In this week’s parshah Yaakov Avinu takes his entire family down to Mitzrayim. The Torah lists the family members who made this journey. On the list is Shimon’s son, Shaul. The pasuk refers to him as Shaul ben haCanaanis – the son of the Canaanis.

Shabbos Mevorchim Teves

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, each month is associated with a letter of the aleph-beis. Teves was formed by means of the letter ayin, which has a numerical value of seventy – a number that figures prominently in Judaism.

Parshat Mikeitz

Having come to the conclusion that nobody was more qualified than Yosef to lead Egypt in anticipation of and during the approaching famine, Pharaoh appointed him prime minister. This appointment made Yosef the second most powerful man in Egypt.

‘Boneless Wonder’

Standing up for the truth is by no means an easy feat and Yosef paid for it dearly.

Beis HaMikdash – Spiritual Power Source

The Bach, commenting on Tur Shulchan Aruch, explains that the decrees of the Yivanim against the Jewish people occurred because the Jewish people became “lax in their service.”

Returning A Non-Jew’s Lost Item

In this week’s parshah, Yosef is the ruler of Mitzrayim and his brothers come to purchase food from him, not realizing with whom they were dealing.

Change Your Erev Shabbos, With the Gift of Chatzos

If your home fits the chaotic description but you’d love to change it to the calm one maybe you should think about joining the ever growing Chatzos Movement – a group of ladies whose goal is to have all the main preparations for Shabbos over by chatzos, the middle of the day on Friday.

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