The most dangerous thing in the world is to try to leap a chasm in two jumps. -David Lloyd George
We do not expect those elected to be Moshe Rabbeinu. Still, the parshi’ot that will accompany the election campaign in the weeks ahead should remind us of how, ideally, those in leadership roles should conduct themselves.
Was R’ Simcha Bunim justified in not bringing Moshiach because of the distress of one individual?
We don’t seek out faults in people to tell them off, but we should always look for ways to help set people on the right path while we ourselves serve as shining personal examples.
The Rambam says something absolutely shocking. He claims that everyone is capable of becoming a tzaddik like Moshe Rabbeinu. How is this possible? Not all of us are able to become leaders, let alone become the greatest leader in human history. So what does the Rambam mean?
There are times when wrongdoing around us needs to be challenged, opposed, and resisted, and there are times when the wiser reaction is to hunker down and let it pass.
The greatest feelings of accomplishment result from when one invests the most effort in its attainment.
The fire of truth burned brightly before Esav, but he was headstrong.
Yaakov’s service of G-d, at his high spiritual level, required him to be buried with his father Yitzchak and grandfather Avraham in Me’aras HaMachpeilah, a place of openly revealed holiness.
Genesis is not a hymn to the virtue of families. It is a candid, honest, fully worked-through account of what it is to confront some of the main problems within families, even the best.
It’s difficult to describe an event of this magnitude in words. But I’ll share a few highlights...
Ya’akov’s mistake instructs us to understand that even if something appears to be good, that does not mean there isn’t a different way that might be even better
Is it better to complain, seek revenge, and hold a grudge? Or is it better to find a blessing within the curse?
Yosef, on the other hand, was involved in worldly affairs. He was on such a high spiritual level that this involvement didn’t disturb his service of G-d.
The Gemara says that when a guest is escorted out of a city, he is protected from harm along his journey.
In overcoming our impatience on the road, we perform a truly heroic act.
Parshas Mikeitz always falls out around Chanukah, and Chazal explain that this is not coincidental. In explanation of this phenomenon, the commentaries discuss how Yosef is connected to Chanukah, and how he symbolizes our victory over the Greeks.
The Zohar tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu visits Bisya every day in Gan Eden to inquire after her well being.
In order to prove that the oil was undefiled, wouldn’t it have been sufficient if its seal remained unbroken, even without the kohen gadol’s personal seal?
The man before whom the brothers bowed was no longer the youthful dreamer. The reinterpreted Joseph dreampt no longer about himself, the dreams were now about something beyond the dreamer
Is this the only question we should ask?
Even according to the Rambam, if an exceptionally pious and G-d-fearing man sees that his generation is degenerate in a certain matter, he may sanctify G-d’s name and sacrifice himself even to avoid a minor mitzvah so that people learn from his example.
Leaders need to pay special attention to the law of unintended consequences.
Here are three crucial truths from Tanya, the fundamental text that Chabad chassidim study in its entirety every year, concluding it on the 19th of Kislev:
The redemption and salvation are commensurate with the distress and challenges of galus.
If we look like an ancestor, smile like them, wrinkle our eyebrows in the way they did, we already carry on more of them than others
It is Judah's honesty that triggers Joseph's decision to reveal his identity.
She probably gave no conscious thought to the message that she broadcast. She did not mean to deliberately offend anyone; it just seemed like a cute thing to do.
“I came here to get a mask so…Moshiach won’t see my aveiros.”
Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz emphasized again and again when he taught this parshah that Yaakov moving the massive stone from the well was not a miracle. Yet, it was not a matter of physical strength either. It was a matter of heart and faith.