Blind to the Obvious

Did you ever ponder how blind we can be? This week's reading gives us a lesson in how we can become caught up in events, unable to see outside the narrow scope of our own goals. And as a result, we miss out on something so crucial. As the Jews journeyed out of Egypt,...
Losing His Head

Losing His Head

In this week's reading, Moshe calls upon Pharoah to release the Jewish nation to worship in the desert, but "G-d said to Moshe, the heart of Pharoah is heavy, to release the people." [Ex. 7:14] The Medrash explains Pharoah's behavior with a parable. A lion and the...

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Driven to Givin’

Driven to Givin’

The Torah tells the story of Moshe's rise to prophecy, and to leadership over the Jewish people. Although raised in the house of the mighty Pharoah, Moshe left the palace to observe first-hand the suffering of the Jewish slaves. Ultimately, Moshe's empathy and defense...

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Their Eyes and Hearts Were Closed

Their Eyes and Hearts Were Closed

The Chumash (Five Books of Moses) is divided into various sections. We are most familiar with the division of the books by "Parsha," referring to the portions commonly read each week in synagogues. This week, for example, is Parshas Vayechi. But in reality, this usage...

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Why the Miracle of Oil?

Why the Miracle of Oil?

The reason why we light the Menorah on Chanukah is to commemorate the great miracle that happened during the war against the Hellenists regarding the Temple oil. After the Greeks had defiled the Holy Temple during the battle with the Jews, only one flask of pure oil...

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The Three-Part Success Plan

The Three-Part Success Plan

Our parsha begins with Jacob's return to the Land of Israel. Though he had left penniless, after his years with Laban he now had wives, a large family, and extensive property. And now that he was returning to his home, all that he had was at risk. Thirty-four years...

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Not Enough Time

Not Enough Time

This week's reading provides what seems, in an initial, superficial view, to be a romantic account. When Yaakov (Jacob) sees Rachel, he gains superhuman strength, single-handedly rolling away the cover of a well, a stone that ordinarily took a team of shepherds to...

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