Vayigash 5774-2013

“The Dreams and the Divine Covenant”

As Jacob’s entire family bows down before Joseph, all of Joseph’s dreams finally come true. But not only Joseph’s dreams come to fruition, the prophesies and predictions of the Covenant between the Pieces have also begun to be realized.

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Shemot 5773-2012

The Role of Exile in Jewish History

What is the role that Galut--exile--plays in the history of the Jewish people?

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Lech Lecha 5772-2011

“The Two Covenants”

In this week’s parasha, we learn of two covenants, the Covenant between the Pieces and the Covenant of Circumcision. What is the relationship between these two covenants?

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Vayeishev 5766-2005

"The Vast Majority of the Time, G-d Rules the World"

Although most of us live our lives under the assumption that we have freedom of will, there are times when G-d invokes a divine plan, requiring human beings to follow a preordained script. In parashat Vayeishev, we see the very dominant role that G-d plays in Joseph's life, and the inexorable fulfillment of the divine predictions found in the Covenant between the Pieces.

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Bo 5764-2004

"The More Things Change..."

In the last moments of their sojourn in the Egyptian land that held them in bondage for hundreds of years, the Jews are told to gather gold and silver from their former Egyptian masters. To the casual observer it appears that the Jews are vengefully looting Egypt. Perhaps, though, the fulfillment of this command represents the mental journey that the Jews must travel from slavery to freedom. The looting of Egypt and its repercussions, are felt to this day.

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Bo 5763-2003

"The Subtle Secrets of the Ten Plagues"

Nothing in the Torah is arbitrary. Everything is well thought out and there for a purpose. The Divine accounting system often operates on the basis of midah kineged midah, that no act is ever unaccounted for, no good deed is ever uncompensated, and no evil deed ever goes unpunished. A careful study of the Ten Plagues with which the Egyptians were struck, uncovers an uncanny sense of balance, underscoring how the plagues were direct retribution for specific acts of persecution that the Egyptians visited upon the Israelite slaves.

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Lech Lecha 5763-2002

"The Two Birds of Israel"

The "Covenant Between the Pieces" is full of symbolism regarding the future of the Jewish people. Three 3-year-old animals--a heifer, a goat and a ram--are slaughtered and cut in half. Two birds, a turtledove and a young pigeon, are not cut. The animals, say the rabbis, represent the nations of the world who seek to destroy the Jewish people. The birds, the turtledove and the young pigeon, on the other hand, symbolize the Jews. The animals are split in half, indicating that those nations who attack Israel will ultimately be destroyed. Scripture states that the "bird" is not cut, referring to only a single bird. Why are two birds necessary to represent the Jewish people? We are, after all, one people, not two. And why are the two birds referred to as a single bird?

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