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...

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...

Red, Red, His Name is Red

Esau was tired, returning from a day in the field, and he saw his brother Jacob cooking lentils. "Feed me some of this, the red, this red, for I'm exhausted," he said. "This is why his name is Edom - Red." (Genesis 25:30) Esau was drained, his guard was down, and in...

A Next-Level Approach

We are keenly aware of many levels of communication and connection with others. Broadly speaking, the closest level of connection, of course, is when we converse face-to-face. But we can also communicate via video, on the phone, and through the written word. I'm not...
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...

read more
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...

read more
Red, Red, His Name is Red

Red, Red, His Name is Red

Esau was tired, returning from a day in the field, and he saw his brother Jacob cooking lentils. "Feed me some of this, the red, this red, for I'm exhausted," he said. "This is why his name is Edom - Red." (Genesis 25:30) Esau was drained, his guard was down, and in...

read more
A Next-Level Approach

A Next-Level Approach

We are keenly aware of many levels of communication and connection with others. Broadly speaking, the closest level of connection, of course, is when we converse face-to-face. But we can also communicate via video, on the phone, and through the written word. I'm not...

read more
What’s on the Other Side?

What’s on the Other Side?

What does G-d have in store for me next? This question must plague the mind of most of us from time to time, and it was likely the question on the mind of our Patriarch, Abraham. After moving with his family and his father to the land of Charan, Abraham is told to...

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Stop the Flow Before the Flood

Stop the Flow Before the Flood

The story of Noah and the great flood actually began at the end of last week's Torah portion. That is when G-d determined that the moral corruption of man had reached terminal levels. His decision was to erase all of mankind, indeed the whole world, and start afresh....

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Conversation Starter

Conversation Starter

This week is a time of new beginnings. First of all, we will read this week about Creation: the beginning of plant life, animal life, and ultimately human life. But second, a month of holiday observances: a week of preparatory prayers prior to the new year, Rosh...

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At Peace Without a Parachute

At Peace Without a Parachute

In Psalm 130, there is a statement that requires explanation. "If G-d should preserve wrongdoing, HaShem, who will stand? Because forgiveness is with You, in order that You be revered." [130:3-4] The first of these verses seems straightforward: since we all do wrong...

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Am I Fulfilling My Purpose?

Am I Fulfilling My Purpose?

Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment, is also, per the majority opinion in the Talmud, the sixth and final day of Creation. It is on this day that Adam and Eve, the first couple, were brought into the world. And as we know, Adam was initially Created as a single...

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Insanely Sweet

Insanely Sweet

The Torah portion this week opens with the Mitzvah (Commandment) of Bikurim. Farmers would bring the first fruits of their field to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and present them as a gift to the Kohain (priest) serving in the Temple. It was a much anticipated and...

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A Measured Approach to Change

A Measured Approach to Change

Moshe (Moses) continues to enumerate in Ki Seitzei, this week's Torah portion, the many Mitzvos (commandments) G-d gave to the Jewish people. This portion actually has the largest listing of Mitzvos of any weekly Torah reading -- 74 in total. Among these is the...

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Personal Police

Personal Police

All societies require some means of government to maintain law and order. So the Torah's directive, in the opening of this week's Torah portion, to establish judges and police to enforce the law is not surprising. As the Mishna writes (Pirkei Avos 3:2), "Pray for the...

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