In this week’s parsha Rachel tells Yaakov (30;1) “Give me children—if not, I am dead.”
From here, the Gemara (Nedarim, 64b) learns that one without children is considered dead.
Interestingly, the Gemara (Yevamos, 64a) relates that Hashem purposely made our forefathers barren because he desires the prayers of the righteous. Therefore, by making them barren they would have to look up to Him in order to be able to have… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on November 27, 2009 at 7:26pm —
Ya’akov our Father A’H was sent by his holy parents to seek a bride in Haran from within his Uncle’s family (see Bereshith 25:1-5). Ya’akov delayed his actual departure from Eretz Yisrael some fourteen years before the events described in 25:10-22 (see Megila 16b-17a see Rashi 25:11). The vivid images depicted by the Torah, the ladder, angels and G-D’s promises and encouragement are obviously profound.
This night was the first Ya’akov spent either outside the confines of Yitzchak’s… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on November 26, 2009 at 9:10pm —
The first day of Chanukah is two weeks from this Shabbos. These next few months, until Pesach, are typically months of personal “yeridah” (descent, a “down” phase), where people’s struggles usually intensify upon them and they find themselves suffering from increased yisurim, troubles and tribulations. This phase happens every year at this time, and, in fact, has to be that way, because this phase ends with Purim, Pesach and Shavuos, which are times of personal geulah and aliyah (redemption, an… Continue
Added by Dovid Shmuel Irwin, MD on November 26, 2009 at 7:13pm —
שבת טעם החיים ויצא תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Vayeitzei 5770
A Dream of Ascent
ויחלם והנה סלם מצב ארצה וראשו מגיע השמימה והנה מלאכי אלקים עלים וירדים בו
And he dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and behold! Angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it. (Bereishis 28: 12)
The Torah records how Yaakov was headed to his uncle Lavan in Aram (modern day Iraq) and he stopped off at the site of the… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on November 26, 2009 at 5:49am —
In this week's parsha Yaakov and Eisav are born.\
The Torah (25;28) tells us that "Yaakov loved Eisav," even though he was wicked.
The Sforno (25;28) relates that Yitzchak actually knew that Yaakov was more righteous--but he still favored Eisav (as the pasuk only states that Yitzchak loved Eisav).
However, if Yitzchak knew about Eisav's evilness then why did he love him more than Yaakov?
I think we could answer that… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on November 20, 2009 at 6:55am —
How does one deal with a reality that challenges one preconceived notions? Rivkah our Mother A’H was married some nineteen years when she became pregnant. Rivkah and her husband Yitzchak our Father A’H prayed for many years beforehand (25:20-21,26)
25:22 relates that Rivkah’s pregnancy was so difficult that she wondered why she ever yearned for or prayed for children (see 25:22 Rashi ZT;L ZY’A “Lamah zeh anochi” ) Rabbi Moshe been Nachman (RAMBAN) ZT’L ZY’A Rivkah did not know what… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on November 20, 2009 at 3:20am —
שבת טעם החיים תולדות תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Toldos 5770
So he drew close and kissed him; he smelled the fragrance of his garments and blessed him; he said, “See, the fragrance of my son is like the fragrance of a field which HaShem had blessed.” (Bereishis 27:27)
In this week’s parasha the Torah records the blessings that Yitzchak conferred on his son Yaakov. The Torah states that when Esav returned from his hunt and… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on November 20, 2009 at 2:14am —
There is a famous story told about the Chofetz Chaim, among others, that when he was young he thought he could change the world. Then progressively, as he got older, he thought maybe he could at least change his community, then maybe at least his family and then, finally, maybe he could at least change himself.
One lesson to be learned from that story is that he wasn’t constricting his range of influence because of his inability to accomplish what he wanted to do. On the contrary, he… Continue
Added by Dovid Shmuel Irwin, MD on November 19, 2009 at 9:49pm —
If you, or someone you know, is troubled by unwanted thoughts, a very easy and effective way to get rid of them is to simply “blow them away.” Any time an unwanted thought pops into your mind, blow air out of your mouth forcefully and repeatedly, as many times as you need to, until the thought is blown away.
Once you get proficient at this technique, which usually takes very little time, you will find that you will also be able to successfully blow away not only your yetzer hora when… Continue
Added by Dovid Shmuel Irwin, MD on November 19, 2009 at 2:21pm —
In this week's parsha Avraham sends out Eliezer to go search for a wife for Yitzchak.
Rashi (24;14) explains that Eliezer was specifically searching for a girl who performs acts of kindness.
The question is: Why was acts of kindness the only requirement in order to be fitting as a wife for Yitzchak?
In order to answer this question, let's first examine what kindess (chesed) really means...
The Rambam (Hilchos Avel,… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on November 13, 2009 at 7:04pm —
Each evening the declaration of faith contained in recitation of Shema is prefaced by stating that “ . . . they [the words of Torah] are our life and the measure of our days . . .” The Ba’al Haturim ZT’L ZY’A among his observations on Bereshith 1:1 notes Bereshith is an acrostic for From the beginning G-D saw that Israel will accept the Torah. Therefore, these and other sources imply a powerful connection between Israel’s connection to Torah and creation itself. Consequently, words of Torah on… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on November 13, 2009 at 4:30am —
שבת טעם החיים חיי שרה תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Chaye Sara 5770
Everything can be perceived as good
Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred twenty years, and seven years; the years of Sarah’s life. (Bereishis 23:1)
Rashi writes that the words the years of Sarah’s life teach us that all of Sarah’s years were deemed to be good. The Medrash cites the verse that states (Tehillim 37:18) yodeia HaShem yimei temimim vinachalasam liolam tihiyeh, HaShem knows the… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on November 12, 2009 at 8:29am —
In this week's parsha we learn the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests).
The Gemara (Bava Metzia, 87a) states that women are stingier with guests than men. What's the reasoning behind this statement? (Note: This is actually not an insult to women).
Additionally, the Gemara (Shabbat, 127a) states that hosting guests is even greater than receiving the divine providence. However, the purpose of performing mitzvot is to get closer to… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on November 6, 2009 at 6:44pm —
For Avrohom Avinu, at ninety nine years old things started popping.
When we think about a Bris Milah we immediately conjure up images of a new life, a new beginning and a fresh start. Our Parsha begins when Avrohom Avinu was ninety-nine years old. He had just had a Bris Milah. It is difficult to consider ninety-nine years old a new start for anything or anyone, yet to Avrohom Avinu - things were just starting to fall into place. His goals were starting to materialize. Avrohom now was… Continue
Added by Yaacov Haber on November 6, 2009 at 3:32am —
There will be a webinar on Sunday discussing the basic
structure of Hebrew words: How to extract the root
(shoresh) of the word, and then how to add back in the other word
components to understand the full meaning of the word.
And it is totally free! You MUST register to
participate, so please reserve your spot now:…
Added by Moshe Burt on November 5, 2009 at 8:08pm —
An almost overlooked aspect of the sidra is Sodom. True the city is forever known from ancient times as a place associated with depraved behavior. Yet what did the residents of Sodom think of themselves?
True to their reputation the Torah twice Bereshith 13:13 where the population of Sodom is called “ . . .evil and very sinful” Rashi ZT’L ZY’A comments how incongruous? How could Lot choose to dwell in Sodom when he split from Avraham?. Lot grew up under the influence of Avraham a… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on November 5, 2009 at 6:51am —
שבת טעם החיים וירא תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Vayeira 5770
King Dovid can be found in Sodom
I have found my servant, David. And where did I find him? In Sodom (Bereishis Rabbah 44:1)
In this week’s parasha we learn how HaShem was prepared to destroy the ancient city of Sodom and its surroundings on account of the decadence of the inhabitants. Avraham prayed on behalf of the people of Sodom, hoping that HaShem would acknowledge that there were some… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on November 5, 2009 at 6:11am —