Vayeishev 5779-2018

“The Mystical Aspects of the Sale of Joseph”

The sale of Joseph by his brothers certainly impacted on the course of Jewish history. The story behind the sale is especially fascinating in its consequences.

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Korach 5772-2012

"Jealousy, Lust, and Thirst for Honor"

There is a remarkable confluence between the story of Korach and the statement of Rav Elazar Ha’Kapar that is recorded in Mishnah Avot: “Envy, lust and obsessive desire for glory, remove a person from this world.”

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Bo 5770-2010

"Finding Favor in the Eyes of the Egyptians"

The Torah reports that G-d caused the Jews to find favor in the eyes of the Egyptians. What was the purpose of this act, and what was its effect upon both the people of Israel and the Egyptians?

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Bo 5769-2009

"It's Payback Time!"

In parashat Bo, the Torah states that the male firstling of every donkey must be redeemed with a lamb. If it is not redeemed, then it must be killed by breaking its neck. From this, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch learns that, "He who selfishly refuses to redeem his donkey, is himself sentencing it [his possessions] to destruction." Are we now witnessing such a period in Jewish life? Is it because of our failure to use our possessions properly during the many years of abundance that we are witnessing the evaporation of massive amounts of Jewish wealth?

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Vayechi 5768-2007

"The Struggle Over the Birthright"

It cannot be mere coincidence that in every single instance in the book of Genesis the firstborn child never emerges with the birthright. The Torah wishes to teach that it is not an accident of birth that determines one's stature, but rather personal merit and the quality of one's life.

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Korach 5764-2004

"The Power of Strife"

Korach was unable to control his rage and his wrath. He succeeded in stirring up hundreds of people. Had he been willing to meet with Moses and discuss his differences, there might have been a reconciliation and a much different end for himself and his followers.

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