Vayakhel-Pekudei 5770-2010

"Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves"

The biblical verse announcing the completion of the building of the Tabernacle describes the Tabernacle as if it had erected itself, and also that it had been erected by the people. This conflict is resolved by the rabbinic interpretation, which concludes that the Al-mighty helped the people build the complex structure, but because of the people's uncommon devotion, attributed the entire building to the people.

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Chayei Sara 5767-2006

"A Match Made in Haran"

Why was Abraham so insistent that his son Isaac not leave the land of Canaan? Why was it necessary for the new bride to commit herself to Isaac without ever seeing him or meeting his actual family?

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Vayeishev 5765-2004

"A Personality Profile of Joseph"

The personality of Joseph is complex and fascinating. Much of Joseph's future life is determined by his early childhood, especially the death of his mother and the fact that he was favored by his father. How Joseph deals with these elements of his life constitutes one of the most fascinating stories in human literature.

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Chukat-Balak 5763-2003

"How to Market G-d!"

In parashat Chukat, the Jewish people, once again challenge G-d by speaking against the Al-mighty and Moses and asking, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness...?" In response to this arrogant display of lack of faith, G-d sends fiery serpents to attack the rebellious hordes, and a large number of people die. To stop the plague, Moses builds a fiery serpent and places it on a tall pole so that all who are bitten will look at the serpent and live. What is the role of this serpent? After all, it seems to be very much akin to voodoo.

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