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Toldos: And They Called His Name Eisav

At a thing’s inception, it contains the potential for both good and bad. This applies also to our forefathers.

An Honorable Failure

Even before they were born, Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb. They were destined, it seems, to be eternal adversaries. Not only were they different in character and appearance, they also held different places in their parents’ affections.

Love Will Conquer All

To “trick” Yitzchak into giving him the berachah, Yaakov donned Eisav’s clothing, put the skin of an animal on his arms and neck to simulate the hairiness of Eisav, and went in to his father to receive the blessing.

How Did Yitzchak Eat From Eisav’s Shechitah?

In this week’s parshah we read about the berachos that Yitzchak had intended to give Eisav, but instead (unintentionally) gave to Yaakov Avinu.

Chayei Sarah: The Blessing Hashem Wished To Impart

Hashem has many agents who do His bidding and bring about in the world the ends He desires. Sometimes the agent is rather unlikely, as when an evil person’s deeds bring about something beneficial. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that such was the case when Rivkah’s family bestowed upon her a blessing that in fact alluded to Israel’s ultimate elevation over the other nations, and Hashem’s ultimate kingship over all the world.

Bechorot: The Price Of Freedom

Freedom is not free. There is a price to pay. When God spared the Jews from the death of the firstborn, the price was and still is that all firstborns, bechorot, belong to God. “On the day that I struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified every firstborn in Israel for Myself, from man to beast they shall be Mine.”

The Middos Are The Man

Eliezer, the faithful servant of Avraham, was charged with finding a wife for Yitzchak. Knowing full well the gravity of his mission, he also recognized its difficulty. The woman he would choose was to be the mother of the Je

How Long To Grieve

Abraham, the Sages were convinced, was a greater religious hero than Noah. We hear this in the famous dispute among the Sages about the phrase that Noah was “perfect in his generations,” meaning relative to his generations:

Did Avraham Own The Land Yet?

In this weeks parshah we read about Avraham’s purchase of Me’aras HaMachpelah. Prior to any negotiations Avraham said to the bnei Cheis, “Ger v’soshav anochi…” – I am a stranger and a resident… (Bereishis 23:4).

Why Was Avraham Allowed To Perform Hachnasas Orchim?

At the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah writes extensively about Avraham Avinu’s act of hachnasas orchim for the three men who were passing by his tent.

An Act That Echoes Through Time

Avraham Avinu was commanded with a supreme test, and one of the greatest challenges ever presented to man: “Take your son, your only son, the son that you love…”

Vayeira: Looking Back

Hashem offers a gift of the greatest proportions: teshuvah. To paraphrase Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, with teshuvah, no sin is too large -- and without it, no sin is too small.

Why Did Avraham Not Perform A Bris Earlier?

In this week’s parshah, Hashem commands Avraham Avinu to perform the mitzvah of bris milah. We once discussed a question that several Achronim ask regarding this mitzvah, and I want to share some new thoughts on the matter.

The Five-Star Hotel Called Life

When Avraham Avinu was informed that his nephew Lot was captured, he waged war against the combined armies of the four kings. Miraculously, he was victorious and freed Lot.

Bitachon And Effort: Finding The Balance

Hashem appeared to Noach and told him the world had turned to wicked ways and was to be destroyed by a deluge. Hashem commanded Noach to build a teivah, an ark, so that he and his family would be saved.

Noach: Vengeance For Israel

The world before the Flood was starkly different from the world today (as even science will attest), and the destruction of the world under a layer of boiling water was an event without parallel in nature or history.

Was The Teivah Made Of Stolen Materials?

In this week’s parshah Hashem tells Noach to build a teivah, for as the pasuk says, “assei lecha teivas… – you shall make for yourself a teivah” (Bereishis 6:14).

Babel’s Larger Theme

Between the Flood and the call to Abraham, between the universal covenant with Noah and the particular covenant with one people comes the strange, suggestive story of Babel:

Parshas Vayakhel – Princes Indeed

"V'Hanesi'im haviu es Avnei HaShoham v'es Avnei HaMiluim (Shemos 35:27) - And the princes [of the Jews] brought the shoham stones and the miluim stones."

Parshat Va’eira

"Iceberg, right ahead." With those words, the Titanic's lookout Frederick Fleet warned the crew on the ship's bridge of the imminent threat.

Parshat Va’eira

"Iceberg, right ahead." With those words, the Titanic's lookout Frederick Fleet warned the crew on the ship's bridge of the imminent threat.

Parshat Shemot

"Houston, we have a problem." These words that were transmitted on April 11, 1970 by astronaut Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, initiated a crisis of potential catastrophic proportions for NASA and the space program.

Parshat Shemot

"Houston, we have a problem." These words that were transmitted on April 11, 1970 by astronaut Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, initiated a crisis of potential catastrophic proportions for NASA and the space program.

Parshat Vayechi

December 1862 was a terrible month for Abraham Lincoln. General Robert E. Lee at Fredericksburg had just defeated his principal army, the Army of the Potomac. As a result, the Radical Republican senators felt that now was the time to force Lincoln to push the war more vigorously. More importantly, they wanted to replace Secretary of State Seward who was viewed as the power behind Lincoln.

Parshat Vayechi

December 1862 was a terrible month for Abraham Lincoln.

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