Mikeitz/Chanukah 5777-2016

“Pharaoh Was Agitated”

Why was Pharaoh agitated and disturbed by his dream. Certainly Pharaoh knew that most dreams are mere fantasy?

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Haazinu/Sukkot 5777-2016

“Sukkot: Enveloping Israel in G-d’s Loving-kindness”

As an eagle hovers over its young to protect them, so does G-d Al-mighty hover over His people Israel, in love and with kindness, protecting them in His Sukkah from the howling winds of the wilderness, and the threats of Israel’s determined enemies.

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Haazinu-Sukkot 5776-2015

“The Sukkah In The Sky”

The powerful imagery of the eagle hovering over and protecting its young not only underscores G-d’s role as Israel’s constant protector, but also brings to mind how G-d protected the ancient Israelites by sheltering them in the special Sukkah huts in the wilderness, and continues to protect us today with His great “Sukkah in the Sky.”

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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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Sukkot 5770-2009

"Sukkot: The Dialectic of a Festival"

The festival of Sukkot actually represents a delicate balance between the spiritual and material worlds. The Talmud records a dispute between the rabbis concerning whether the "sukkot" (booths) referred to in the Torah were actual physical booths that were built by the people of Israel, or Divine Clouds of Glory that hovered over the people as they traveled in the wilderness. These two opinions represent the dialectic between the physical and the material world that is necessary for achieving a proper balance in life.

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Masei 5765-2005

"The Role of Witnesses and Testimony"

Parashat Masei features a chapter devoted to the case of accidental homicide. Nevertheless, this chapter also includes laws regarding premeditated homicide and definitively states that one witness is not acceptable in capital cases. This revolutionary Jewish juridical innovation underscores once again the principle of the sanctity of human life that governs all of Judaism.

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Sukkot 5764-2003

"The Seven Protective Divine Clouds"

According to the Midrash, the Jewish people were protected in the wilderness from the elements and from enemy attack by seven clouds. Though it is often hard to believe, the Jewish people today are similarly cared for in exile. G-d indeed shields them, but Jews must do all they can to look after their own well-being.

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