A Theme for the Seder

The Passover Seder is one of the most commonly-observed Jewish rituals today. People who neglect lighting candles in honor of Shabbos, or fasting for Yom Kippur, will gather around the table on Passover to retell the story of the Exodus. There is clearly something...

What a Sight!

Our ability to see is the strongest of our senses. What we see penetrates our inner conscience, and can guide us towards right or wrong. Visual media is so attractive and popular because it touches the core, the soul, of the human being. When advertisers want to drive...

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Tears of Connection

What makes you cry? Some cry at weddings and other happy moments. Others, in times of deep sadness and loss. When Yosef (Joseph) overheard his brothers express regret for selling him as a slave, he cried. When they brought his brother Binyamin down to Egypt to see...

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Chanukah Fun

What is Chanukah? On National Public Radio this week, a reporter posed this basic question to a young father attending a Chanukah party with his wife and two-year-old son. He responded, “You eat fried food. You have some doughnuts. You light some candles. You sing...

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Alone with Friends

Jacob and his family were traveling to meet Esau and return to the Land of Israel. Jacob had his family and flocks cross the Yabok river before him, leaving Jacob himself alone on the other side. At that moment, a man — whom the Midrash says was Esau's personal angel...

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Thank G-d!

Upon the birth of her fourth child, Jacob’s wife Leah proclaimed, “This time I thank G-d - Odeh es Hashem.” She gave her son a name derived from "Odeh," thanks: Yehudah, or Judah. The Sages of the Talmud comment that this is the first time in Biblical history someone...

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A Healthy Transmission

The Torah spends a great deal of time discussing the life of our forefather Avraham, and that of Yaakov. By comparison, Yitzchak receives relatively short shrift. The offering of Yitzchak as a Korban, a sacrifice, is primarily told as a test of his father. It is...

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