Vayishlach 5780-2019

“The Massacre of Shechem, Can it be Justified?”
(Updated and revised from Vayishlach 5760-1999)

The rabbis are challenged deeply by the rape of Dina and the subsequent massacre of the men of Shechem by Simeon and Levi. They try valiantly to explain why Dinah was fated to suffer so horribly. They also debate whether the actions of Simeon and Levi can in any way be justified.

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Toledot 5780-2019

“A Lesson from Jacob and Esau: Understanding and Accepting Differences”
(Updated and revised from Toledot 5760-1999)

Some bold commentators have suggested that the difficulties between Jacob and Esau may be due to the fact that not enough attention was paid to the innate differences in the children’s natures, and that they were both, mistakenly, given the same cookie-cutter education. There is always a great price to pay for not recognizing that children have individual and personal needs that must be addressed.

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Vayishlach 5779-2018

“Jacob’s Challenging Life”

Our Patriarch Jacob, lived a life of many challenges. Yet, he never gave up hope and never became bitter. There is much to learn from father Jacob about facing and living with overwhelming adversity.

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Vayeitzei 5779-2018

“The Deceivers are Deceived”

Jacob, the deceiver of Esau, is himself deceived by Laban. Torah law insists that employer-employee relationships must be based on truth and honesty.

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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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Vayishlach 5777-2016

“Esau and Jacob Embrace and Kiss: Sincere or Insincere?”

After more than two decades of separation, Esau and Jacob meet and embrace. Is the reunion a true reconciliation or a temporary respite in the hatred that is deeply ingrained?

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Vayeitzei 5777-2016

“The Great Deception”

Deceptions are found frequently in the book of Genesis. While they are often painful and devastating, they, on occasion, lead to great redemption and salvation.

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Vayishlach 5776-2015

“Jacob Tarries in Succot”

Jacob had taken an oath to return to his family home in Canaan. And yet, for reasons unknown, Jacob tarries for years in Succot and Shechem before returning home.

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Vayeitzei 5776-2015

“Disclosing Personal Information For Shidduch Purposes”

The issue of relating private information for the sake of marriage is a serious one. The first encounter between Jacob and Rachel reveals some interesting facts and has bearing on this issue.

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Bereshith 5775-2014

“The Sad Destiny of the Firstborn Children”

A prominent feature of the book of Genesis is the struggle for dominance between the first born and the younger siblings. In each instance, the younger sibling is chosen to serve as leader.

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Vayishlach 5773-2012

"Gid Ha’nasheh: The Sinew of the Thigh"

Why are Jews forbidden to eat "Gid Ha’nasheh,” the sinew of the thigh?

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Toledot 5773-2012

"The Sale of the Birthright"

What really took place at the sale of the birthright? The Midrash fills in the many edifying details.

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Devarim 5772-2012

"The Al-mighty’s Relationship with the Nations of the World"

As the People of Israel conclude their 40 year trek through the wilderness, they emerge as a triumphant nation, having defeated the most powerful nations in the world. Nevertheless, Moses tells them in G-d's name that they must zealously respect the rights and privileges of the other nations as well.

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Vayishlach 5772-2011

“Jacob Lines Up His Family for the Encounter With Esau”

In parashat Vayishlach, in anticipation of his dreaded encounter with his brother Esau, Jacob strategically lines up his family to assure their safety. It seems as if Jacob is prepared to sacrifice the handmaidens and their children in order for the children of Rachel and Leah to be spared. Could this possibly be true?

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Toledot 5772-2011

“Isaac Blesses His Sons”

Professor Menashe Duvshani was for many years the premier Bible educator for Israeli high school students. He offers a unique view on the story of Isaac blessing his sons.

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Devarim 5770-2010

"On That Day the Lord Shall Be One and His Name One"

Two little seemingly "throw-away" verses in Deuteronomy, 2:5 and 2:19, powerfully proclaim a singular all-embracing G-d of the world, Who cares for Israel as well as all the nations of the world.

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0 Comments8 Minutes