Preemptive Passion

In this week's reading, we learn of Bilaam, the non-Jewish prophet who was called to come curse the Jews. Once given the opportunity, Bilaam saddled his own donkey at the break of dawn. This was totally out of character for an honored and wealthy man. He was so...
Spirited Celebration

Spirited Celebration

Joseph's tears flowed as he wept on his father Jacob's shoulder. It had been 22 years from the time Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brothers, only to learn that he had been tragically devoured by a wild desert beast. Jacob was inconsolable for 22 years, but his...

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The Angels Are In the Details

The Angels Are In the Details

When lighting the Menorah on Chanukah, we are instructed to light one light the first night, adding one light (to the left of the first) each night until lighting eight on the final night of the holiday. This is one of the famous arguments of the House of Hillel and...

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Hope Against Hope

Hope Against Hope

Yaakov's sons saw their brother Yosef as a threat, and devised a plot to kill him. The oldest brother, Reuven, seeing that his brother Yosef was about to be killed, quickly came up with a plan. Reuven said, "Do not spill his blood. Throw him into this pit in the...

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Is it Plugged in, Sir?

Is it Plugged in, Sir?

A tale told by technical support engineers goes as follows: Larry was happily browsing online when his new computer suddenly went blank. He pressed the power button on and off multiple times, but that didn't help. Knocking the monitor, banging on the keyboard, and...

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Penniless Donors

Penniless Donors

Jacob, fleeing from the threat of his brother Esau, was alone in the desert, homeless and penniless. That night he slept on the desert floor, and when he awoke he prayed to G-d for safety and his basic necessities. His simple prayer ended with the pledge "All that you...

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Eat Your Heart Out

Eat Your Heart Out

I have never been to an engagement party, a wedding, or even a birthday party that didn't have refreshments, if not a full course meal. What's a party without food and drinks? Of course, the reason for this staple of merriment is that the hosts of the party want the...

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