Chayei Sarah 5780-2019

“Rebecca and Isaac’s First Encounter: a Revealing Insight into the Future”
(updated and revised from Chayei Sarah 5760-1999)

When Rebecca raises her eyes and first beholds Isaac from afar, she falls off the camel and promptly covers her face with a veil. Rebecca’s actions may very well reflect her feelings of inadequacy about coming from a decadent and idolatrous background, and being betrothed to an intensely spiritual man. This encounter may explain the fraught relationship that the future couple will have.

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Bereshith 5774-2013

"Beginning at the Beginning–-Again"

While some may argue that the Torah’s primary purpose is to report the history and development of the Jewish people, tradition argues that its primary function is to record and confirm the establishment of the covenant between G-d, the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

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0 Comments6 Minutes

Vayechi 5767-2007

"Lessons in Child Rearing from the Patriarch Jacob"

It is surprising, to say the least, to find an important principle of child rearing and education attributed by rabbinic sources to the actions of Jacob. Nevertheless, it is Jacob of all the patriarchs, who sires twelve righteous and loyal sons.

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0 Comments8 Minutes

Shelach 5766-2006

"Who was Caleb?"

Upon returning from scouting the Land of Israel, only two of the twelve tribal representatives, Joshua and Caleb, refuse to go along with the negative report of the scouts. Of the two, only Caleb confronted the popular leaders publicly. What was the source of Caleb's amazing strength and moral courage?

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Va’eira 5764-2004

"The Names of G-d and Their Meanings"

The names of G-d are many, each revealing to the world a different aspect of the Creator. In this parasha, the universe's understanding of G-d is heightened by Moses to a level never before conceived, even by the patriarchs. After Moses, the world's notion of G-d is never to be the same again.

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Chayei Sara 5761-2000

"The Personality of Isaac: The Passive Patriarch"

Much of the life of Isaac appears to reflect his seemingly passive nature. Yet it is apparently through his passivity that he achieves greatness. It is Isaac, the "passive patriarch," who takes hold of the land of Israel, probably because he, as opposed to Abraham and Jacob, never left the land. He toiled on the land, worked the land, plowed the land and harvested the land. Through his quiet perseverance, Isaac achieved more than many others accomplish with much noise and bravado.

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Chayei Sara 5760-1999

"The First Encounter Between Rebecca and Isaac: A Revealing Insight Into the Future"

When Rebecca raises her eyes and first sees Isaac, she falls off the camel and promptly covers her face with a veil. At the time, Isaac is returning from Be'er L'chai Ro'ee. We see that at their very first encounter, both Isaac and Rebecca carry much baggage with them. Isaac may still be recovering from the trauma of the Akeidah, and Rebecca's actions reflect her feelings of inadequacy about coming from a rather decadent idolatrous background and being betrothed to a great spiritual man. This encounter may explain the unusual relationship that the future couple will have.

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0 Comments10 Minutes