Vayigash 5780-2019

“The Reunion of Jacob & Joseph: An Immortal Lesson about Love”
(updated and revised from Vayigash 5760-1999)

After 22 years of mourning for his lost son, the rabbis state that when Jacob and Joseph are reunited, Jacob could not kiss his son because he was reciting the Shema prayer. What was the reason for Jacob’s odd behavior? Couldn’t he have prayed before or after the reunion with his son?

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Shemot 5779-2018

“Getting the Jews Out of Egypt-–Two Views”

Rabbi Ben-Zion Firer argues that Moses and G-d had different approaches regarding the process of the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Vayigash 5779-2018

“The Innocent Victim”

When Joseph asked, "Is my father still alive?" he was asking his brothers how could they have been so unconcerned for the feelings of their poor father Jacob, who for 22 years, was inconsolable over the loss of Joseph.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Mikeitz 5779-2018

"Why Did You Treat Me So Badly"

There was but a single instance in Jacob’s life where he complained to G-d about being treated badly. Jacob’s faithful attitude teaches the importance of having faith in G-d at all times, and that even in times of darkness, we must look forward to the dawning of a beautiful sun-filled tomorrow.

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Bo 5777-2017

"And the People Bowed their Heads and Prostrated Themselves"

Why did the People of Israel bow after hearing the laws and rituals of Passover?

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0 Comments6 Minutes

Balak 5776-2016

“Balaam Sees the Kenites"

It is fascinating to see how the Kenites, one small nation, who seems to play a rather insignificant role, has a profound impact on Jewish destiny and on the stage of world history.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

B’ha’a’lot’cha 5776-2016

“Moses Realizes that His Dreams Were Not Going to be Fulfilled"

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik provides new insights into a well-known narrative in parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha, explaining why Moses’ dreams of entering the Promised Land were not realized.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Yitro 5769-2009

"Ambassadors Needed"

Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, recommends establishing a Judicial system that can work efficiently to reduce the burdens on Moses and the people. Jethro's advice was not just about a judicial system. It was much more!

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Va’etchanan 5765-2005

"The Jewish Attitude Towards Intermarriage"

In parashat Va'etchanan, we read of the stern prohibition against intermarriage with those who are not members of the Jewish faith. Different arguments are often presented why Jewish young people should not intermarry. Perhaps the most compelling argument is that only those who marry within the faith can hope to be part of the revolutionary mission of the Jewish people to perfect the world under the rule of the Al-mighty and to serve as a light unto the nations.

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Toledot 5765-2004

"Digging Wells"

Parashat Toledot tells of numerous occasions when Isaac and his servants go out to dig wells. What is so significant about well digging that impels the most important document in Judaism to not only recount that Isaac dug numerous wells, but to even list the well's names? Obviously, these ancient wells were signposts of Jewish identity, Jewish pride and Jewish outreach. We learn from Isaac and his wells that the anti-Semites do not respect Jews who are ashamed of their heritage. On the other hand, non-Jews cannot help but admire those Jews who stand up proudly and state without reticence or embarrassment, "I am a Jew!"

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0 Comments9 Minutes

Kee Tisah-Purim 5762-2002

"The Story of Esther--Making Choices for Jewish Destiny"

When Esther receives the report that Mordechai is leading a great mourning and wailing, she is thrown into a panic. Some commentators regard Esther's reaction as a personal failure on the Queen's part to rise to the challenge. In effect, Esther respond's to Mordechai's appeal by saying "Do you expect me to risk my life and compromise my lofty position for the Jewish people?" Mordechai's response to Esther strikes a sensitive chord. Despite her initial reluctance, Esther redeems herself, fulfills her mission brilliantly, and goes on to become one of the great heroic figures of Jewish history.

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Vayigash 5760-1999

"The Reunion of Jacob & Joseph: An Immortal Lesson About Love"

After 22 years of mourning for his lost son, the rabbis say that when Jacob and Joseph are reunited, Jacob could not kiss his son because he was reciting the Shema prayer. What was the reason for Jacob's odd behavior? Couldn't he have prayed before or after the reunion with his son?

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes