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The opening pasuk in this week’s parshah states: “Vayechi Yaakov be’eretz Mitzrayim sheva esrei shanah… – Yaakov lived in Mitzrayim for 17 years…” The Gemara in Kiddushin 82a says that Avraham Avinu kept the entire Torah, even the mitzvos that may not have applied.
This week’s parsha, Vayislach, relates a shocking episode that causes genuine outrage in the Israelite camp -- the Canaanite Prince Shechem’s brutal assault of Yaakov’s daughter Dinah.
Readers and nervous newshounds wondering how to become more spiritual in a hurry can take steps toward meeting that goal by studying The Light of Thirty-Six: Accessing the Hidden Light of Creation on a Daily Basis. Read and re-read the book. Invest time, effort and thought into your spirituality-seeking process so you can act on the book's lessons seriously, not superficially.
Statistically, about half of all couples marrying this year will see their marriage end in divorce. For couples undergoing marriage therapy, surprisingly or perhaps not surprisingly, the rates of divorce are no different about one-half will suffer divorce.
"You're going where?! That sounds interesting. What is it?" This response we received from friends when we mentioned our plan to attend the Orthodox Union's Marriage Enrichment Retreat this past July reflected the very same questions we were thinking. And it was with those thoughts that we went to the retreat - interested but unsure of what exactly we were getting into. A nice hotel, no kids, good food and maybe some interesting workshops.
Our forefather Yaakov is considered to have been the patriarch who endured the most suffering. Although our rabbis look to the binding of Yitzchak and the trial of Avraham as the epitome of suffering in the form of self-sacrifice, Yaakov is our greatest teacher in the difficult subject of dealing with life's hardships.
Dear Rabbi Horowitz: We would appreciate your thoughts regarding offering our children incentives, financial or otherwise, for doing well in school this year. We don't want to bribe our kids but, on the other hand, incentives seem to work very well. What do you think? Yaakov and Susan