Bo 5771-2011

“‘Is This What You Call Borrowing?’--Revisited”

In this week’s analysis, we offer two additional significant responses, attempting to explain how the Israelites were permitted to “borrow” vessels of gold and silver from their Egyptian neighbors, emptying out Egypt.

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Vayakhel 5768-2008

"Rochel the Riveter"

Those who study parashat Vayakhel feel, at times, like throwing up their hands and saying, "Enough of the excruciating detail about the building of the Tabernacle." Nevertheless, there are always new and revolutionary insights that may be found when studying the nuances of the texts carefully. Parashat Vayakhel teaches about the special role that the women played in building the Tabernacle and conveys the important message about the primacy of the Jewish home that must never be compromised.

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Shemot 5768-2007

"Who Were the Midwives?"

How did the Jews turn from acclaimed heroes in the time of Joseph into despised enemies in the period of only 100 years? Who exactly were the heroic midwives who risked their lives by defying Pharaoh and saving the Jewish male children?

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Pinchas 5767-2007

"Rosh Chodesh, the Modest Holiday"

The two concluding chapters of Parashat Pinchas detail the supplementary offerings that were brought on festivals and holidays. Included in this list is the offering for Rosh Chodesh, the New Moon. The New Moon plays a crucial symbolic role for the Jewish people. It was the establishment of the calendar based on the New Moon that made it possible for the Jewish people to continue their observances, despite our enemies' unremitting efforts to undermine them.

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Toledot 5766-2005

"Why Was Rebecca Barren?"

In parashat Toledot, Isaac and Rebecca both pray that Rebecca will be blessed with a child. After many years of barrenness, G-d listens to the prayer and Rebecca conceives. Why was Rebecca barren, and why were the other matriarchs--Sara and Rachel--also barren? Our rabbis offer up a host of answers. Those answers notwithstanding, we need to be more sensitive in our relations to those couples who pray for children and are not given a positive response.

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Korach 5761-2001

"Achieving the Good Life by Picking the Right Mate"

The Midrash highlights the roles that two women played in the rebellion of Korach. Mrs. Korach is depicted as having provoked her husband into rebellion, while the wife of On, the son of Pelet, is portrayed as having saved her husband from destruction, and preventing him from joining Korach's rebels. By carefully choosing our friends and mates, we are often able to determine our own fate and ensure our own good fortune.

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