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Vayishlach 5784

With Whom Do You Associate? In Parashat Vayishlach, we read about the encounter between Jacob and Esau when Jacob is finally returning home.  Our sages vary in their opinions about Esau’s character and even our prophets have given him a terrible reputation such as Malachi 1:3: “Yes, I have loved Jacob, and Esau I have […]

Vayetze 5784

Take Comfort in the Promises of God In Parashat Vayetze, in Genesis 28:14 and 15, God made the following promises to Jacob as He did to Isaac and Abraham before him. You shall be as the dust of the earth. You shall be spread abroad to the west, east, north, and south. In you and […]

Toledot 5784

Do not be Fooled by Appearances…… It is written in Mishlei (Proverbs) 16:32 that: “It is better to be patient than mighty, to have self-control than to conquer a city”.  Pirkei Avot 4:1 referring to this, says,  “Ben Zoma said: Who is powerful? He who controls his inclination [to evil], as it is said: “He […]

Chayei Sarah 5784

From message by Ranebi Cheshvan 25 5780 What is the Key to a Good Relationship? It’s surprising how many midrashim are written about this parashah Chayei Sarah “and Sarah lived”, some quite hard to believe. It is so important for us to differentiate between “illustration” and “truth”.  In Judaism, we use a lot of Mishlei […]

Vayera 5784

Can We Turn Hate to Love? When I was in High School, what I loved most about Algebra and Geometry were the formulas.  I kept a record of every new formula and it was like a game where I could plug in the specifications to find the correct answer. Believe it or not, that’s how […]

Lech Lecha 5784

“Go to yourself…. To your inner being…” Einstein’s famous quote says, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This portion tells the story of Noah, introduced in the previous portion in Bereshit 11:26: “After he had lived seventy years, Terah had his sons Abram, Nahor and Haran.” We […]

Noach 5784

Are we walking with God? This second portion in Genesis begins with Noah, a just, wholehearted man,- תָּמִים) tamim) in his generation. Our sages explain that being righteous meant that he was less evil than other people at that time.  I think that they don’t give him any credit when they say that if he […]

Bereshit 5784

Bereshit 5784 Chao vs Order, Void Vs Fullness, Light Vs Darkness…Choose! In Genesis 1:2, we find a very important element in the story of creation: תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ “tohu v’vohu” translated as “unformed and void” or chaos. Not long ago, I watched a video of a group of young people whose goal was to destroy anything […]

Sukkoth 5784

The Mysteries of the Moedim When I was growing up, whether those around me were religious or not, we all understood that Yom Kippur was the holiest day of the year.  All we needed to do was to listen to Kol Nidre, the sounding of the shofar, to fast if we were old enough, and then […]