What is Normal Life?

The current global upheaval due to the raging pandemic, combined with political upheaval, has made us all unsettled; many are even broken and in despair. We all ask, "When will life return to normal?" The Exodus story, which we read about in the Torah portion this...
Truly in Tents

Truly in Tents

The contrast between Yaakov and Esav (Jacob and Esau) in this week's Torah portion is stark. "The children matured, and Esav knew how to hunt, he was a man of the field, and Yaakov was whole, one who sits in tents (Gen. 25:27)." These descriptions show a clear...

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Keep the Silver!

Keep the Silver!

Upon hearing of his wife Sarah's death, Abraham returned to his home in Hebron to eulogize his wife, mourn her passing, and arrange for her burial. The plot of his choice was the same cave where Adam and Eve were known to be buried, but to bury Sarah in this cave, he...

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Kind to the Cruel?

Kind to the Cruel?

The city of Sodom and the surrounding region were notorious for their cruel practices and laws. But before G-d brought destruction upon them, He first informed Abraham. "It's improper to do this without him knowing," He said, "I gave him this land, these cities are...

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Sweet Simple Symphony

Sweet Simple Symphony

Saved from the Great Flood (the Mabul), Noah was moved to give thanks to G-d for sparing him and his family. Immediately upon leaving the Ark, he built an altar and brought offerings upon it. G-d was pleased with this, as it says, "And G-d smelled the pleasant smell...

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Make Amends, Let’s Be Friends

Make Amends, Let’s Be Friends

Rabbi Zeira, the Talmud writes, had the following custom: when he was owed an apology by someone, he would go out to where they were, proceed past them, and then return (Yoma 87a). By walking past them, back and forth, he hoped to jog their memory of the incident, and...

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Gone AWOL

Gone AWOL

Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, which is in just a few days, is the culmination of the Ten Days of Repentance that began with Rosh Hashanah. A significant portion of the lengthy prayers of Yom Kippur is devoted to Viduy — confession of misdeeds, which includes a...

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