Yitro 5778-2018

“Striving as a Jewish Ideal”

It must be the aspiration of every Jew to be a person of accomplishment, G-d-fearing and a person of truth, and for the People of Israel as a whole to become a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

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B’shalach 5778-2018

“The Exalted Spirituality of Miriam the Prophetess”

The sister of Moses rose to great spiritual heights at the Red Sea. Her impact on the women seems to have been even greater than Moses’ impact on the men.

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Bo 5778-2018

“Deceptions at the Behest of G-d”

The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is looked upon by all as a universal paradigm of the struggle for freedom from oppression. Yet it is punctuated by several instances of deception on the part of the Israelites and, it was all done at the behest of the Al-mighty G-d.

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Va’eira 5778-2018

“Participating in the Communal Pain”

The names of the sons of Levi reflect the fact that the tribe of Levi felt the communal pain for all the tribes of Israel, even though they themselves were not personally afflicted.

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Shemot 5778-2017

“The Missing Years in the Life of Moses”

According to most calculations, Moses, the Egyptian prince, was only 20 years old when he was accused of killing an Egyptian and was forced to flee the land of Egypt. He does not return to Egypt until age 80. What happened during the intervening 60 years?

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Vayechi 5778-2017

“Blessing the Children--Revisited”

One of the most meaningful and powerful rituals in Judaism--blessing the children on Friday nights and Jewish holidays, is derived from Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Menashe, found in parashat Vayechi.

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Vayigash 5778-2017

“Jacob’s Enhanced Joy from Joseph His Righteous Son”

Jacob’s reunion with his beloved son Joseph, after a separation of 22 years, was enhanced by the knowledge that Joseph had remained true to his faith during that long separation from his family.

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Mikeitz 5778-2017

“Returning the Stolen Goblet to Joseph”

Returning the stolen goblet to Joseph raises many fascinating Jewish legal questions regarding returning lost and stolen objects to non-Jews.

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Vayeishev 5778-2017

“The Jealousy Between Brothers”

Why did Jacob favor Joseph, after all, Benjamin was his youngest son? Why was it necessary for Jacob to send Benjamin to Egypt, after all, the prophecy of going down to Egypt had been mostly fulfilled?

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Vayishlach 5778-2017

“The Tragic Death of Mother Rachel”

While the Torah does not provide a single reason for the Matriarch Rachel passing away at the young age of 36, the commentators suggest a host of answers for her tragic premature demise.

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Vayeitzei 5778-2017

“Three Wells ”

Wells play an important role in the Torah and in Judaism. It is interesting to contrast the well of Jacob, with the wells of Eliezer and Moses in Midian.

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Toledot 5778-2017

“Isaac’s Unconditional Love for Esau”

Isaac’s unconditional love for his prodigal son, Esau, serves as a model for all parents, and the inevitable challenges faced in childrearing.

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Chayei Sarah 5778-2017

“Who is Eliezer the Damascan?”

Eliezer, the Damascan slave of Abraham, plays a key role in determining the destiny of Abraham’s progeny. His actions resonate to this very day.

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Vayeira 5778-2017

“The Alliance with Abimelech”

The alliance that Abraham made in ancient times with Abimelech, King of Gerar, reverberates profoundly throughout Jewish history and in modern times as well.

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Lech Lecha 5778-2017

“The Beautiful, Barren Matriarchs”

All four matriarchs were both beautiful and barren. The commentators wrestle with the reason for these blessings and challenges.

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Noah 5778-2017

“Rebuilding the World Through the Children of Noah”

Parashat Noah is not only about the Flood in Noah’s time, but also about the history and development of humanity following the Flood.

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Bereshith 5778-2017

“The Torah Promotes the Work Ethic”

The work ethic and our willingness to invest sincere effort into the principles we cherish is communicated to humanity in the very first parasha of the Torah. Rewards in this world are only as great as the effort we invest.

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Sukkot 5778-2017

“Jewish Unity and the Festival of Sukkot”

Sukkot is not only a festival of joy. It is a joyous festival because it is a time of unity for the People of Israel.

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Yom Kippur 5778-2017

“Forgiveness Before Sin”

The Midrashic tradition records a dispute regarding Yom Kippur. Was Yom Kippur established to help the People of Israel gain atonement for the sin of The Golden Calf, or was it given by G-d even before that grievous sin?

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Rosh Hashana-Ha’azinu 5778-2017

“The Blame Game”

Life today, as in biblical times, is filled with blaming others for our own shortcomings. The High Holidays present us with a particularly propitious opportunity to correct that behavior by consciously acknowledging our own shortcomings.

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