In this week's parsha Yaakov dies and is buried in the Cave of Machpelah.
Yaakov believed it was of huge importance to be buried in the land of Israel.
The Torah tells us (47;31) that Yaakov made Yosef swear to bury him with his fathers. However, why did Yaakov make Yosef swear, Yosef had already told him (47;30): "I will do in accordance with your words (and bury you in the Cave of Machpelah)"? Did Yaakov really think that Yosef would… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on December 30, 2009 at 9:35pm —
The Medrash says that Hashem created many worlds and destroyed each one until He created this one (Bereishis Rabbah 3:7). Seforim tell us that if Adam and Eve wouldn’t have eaten from the Tree Of Knowledge they would have gone right into Olum Habah and we all would have lived for eternity basking in the Presence of Hashem, and there would have been no death or suffering or toil in this world. One reason Hashem might have destroyed each world as He created it (if we can assign reasons to… Continue
Added by Dovid Shmuel Irwin, MD on December 29, 2009 at 6:45pm —
• (Baal Shem Tov on the Torah, parshas Ki Sisa, note 17, from the sefer Ohr HaGanuz Latzaddikim) There are three middos: Chesed (kindness), Din (judgment) and Rachamim (compassion), and through these middos all creatures were created. And behold, the middah of Chesed is called the middah of Love…, and the middah of Din is called, in the Upper Worlds, the middah of Fear…, and the middah of Rachamim is called the middah of Tiferes (glory)…. And, according to the actions of the lower creatures,… Continue
Added by Dovid Shmuel Irwin, MD on December 28, 2009 at 2:03am —
Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr. coined the famous phrase known as "Murphy's Law" which states: "Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong." His philosophy was: "Smile...tomorrow will be worse." Even during the good times, Murphy would think to himself: "If everything is going right...something is wrong."
In this week's parsha Yosef proves to be a non-believer in Murphy's Law.
After Yosef reveals himself to his brothers he tells them… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on December 25, 2009 at 7:08am —
שבת טעם החיים ויגש תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Vayigash 5770
Yosef revealing himself to his brothers teaches us to reveal our inner selves
ויאמר יוסף אל אחיו אני יוסף העוד אבי חי ולא יכלו אליו לענות אותו כי נבהלו מפניו, and Yosef said to his brothers, “I am Yosef. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him because they were left disconcerted before him. (Bereishis 45:3)
In this week’s parasha the Torah records how after… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on December 24, 2009 at 6:26pm —
I had someone tell me today that he was looking for happiness. I told him, “Don't look for happiness. Look to do the right thing in Hashem's eyes and He'll make you very happy. Looking for happiness will just make you sad because real happiness only comes from doing mitzvos and from getting approval from Hashem – any other happiness is temporary and is replaced with longing and sadness.”
Added by Dovid Shmuel Irwin, MD on December 24, 2009 at 12:55pm —
The narrative is not necessarily what a text is intended to convey. The challenge in reading scripture is to be sensitive to the nuances of language that offer insight in to these personages’ personality and outlook. The personalities included in the text were placed there by G-D as role models for all generations. It would be difficult to dismiss the story as The Adventures of Joseph and his Brothers, with the record of their exploits being merely historic with no present tense… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on December 24, 2009 at 7:29am —
DELIVERY FROM DARKNESS
A Jewish guide to prevention and treatment of postpartum depression
By: Rabbi Baruch Finkelstein, Michal Finkelstein, RN CNM and Doreen Winter, MSW
Reviewed by: FERN SIDMAN
As far as Jewish lifecycle events go, there is no doubt that childbirth is the ultimate simcha that a woman and her family can ever experience. A new Jewish life has entered this world through the kindness of Hashem, and with great excitement and awe we revel… Continue
Added by Fern Sidman on December 21, 2009 at 10:00pm —
The popular generic explanation for Jewish holidays is “They tried to kill us/G-D saved us -LET’S EAT!” Certainly there is more to Chanukah than potato pancakes, latkes, Jelly doughnuts or even chocolate coins.
A quick observation from the holiday liturgy reveals a deep lesson. One recites each night a blessing that concludes “Who performed miracles in those days at this season” The Schulchan Aruch, The Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim Chapter 676:3 mandates that one who personally… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on December 17, 2009 at 7:33am —
שבת טעם החיים מקץ-חנוכה תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Mikeitz -Chanukah 5770
Being honest with ourselves
ויאמר אלהם יוסף הוא אשר דברתי אלכם לאמר מרגלים אתם But Yosef said to them, “It is just as I have declared to you: ‘You are spies!’ (Bereishis 42:!4)
In this week’s parasha the Torah records how after Yosef ascended to power, his brothers descended to Egypt because of the famine that was prevalent in the Land of Yosef. When the brothers appeared… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on December 17, 2009 at 7:30am —
In this week's parsha Yosef and all of his brothers meet up in Egypt and get drunk (43;34).
Rashi (43;34) relates that from the day the brothers sold Yosef they never drank wine until that day. Simply speaking, the reasoning behind this was because they were too saddened with regret from their terrible sin.
However, why did the brothers now choose to drink wine? Yosef didn't reveal his identity until later on (45;3)--Therefore, how could… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on December 16, 2009 at 11:25pm —
It's best if you sit in front of the Chanukah candles and stare at their light for a whole half hour after you light them. Let the light from Hashem, through the candles, enter your soul and light up all the dark places it finds.
The light from the Chanukah lights can also metakein (spritually fix up) your eyes from having looked at things that you shouldn't have looked at.
Added by Dovid Shmuel Irwin, MD on December 13, 2009 at 11:04pm —
In this week's parsha Yosef's brothers nearly kill him due to jealousy and hatred.
The Torah (37;3-4) states: "Now Israel loved Yosef more than all of his sons since he was a child of his old age, and he made him a fine woolen tunic. His brothers saw that it was he whom their father loved most of all his brothers so they hated him; and they were not able to speak to him peaceably." We therefore see that the whole cause of all the jealousy and hatred… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on December 11, 2009 at 7:30am —
In 1897, famous author Mark Twain wrote the following:
If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on December 11, 2009 at 7:28am —
שבת טעם החיים וישב-חנוכה תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Vayeishev-Chanukah 5770
The flax and the straw
וישב יעקב בארץ מגורי אביו בארץ כנען אלה תולדות יעקב יוסף בן שבע עשרה שנה היה רועה את אחיו בצאן והוא נער את בני בלהה ואת בני זלפה נשי אביו ויבא יוסף את דבתם רעה אל אביהם, Yaakov settled in the land of his father’s sojourning, in the land of Canaan. These are the chronicles of Yaakov: Yosef, at the age of seventeen years, was a shepherd with his brothers… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on December 11, 2009 at 2:19am —
Yossef as overseer in Potifar’s house encountered what could be called a Chanukah moment. Mrs. Potifar knew she was destined to have descendants from Yossef. However, Mrs. Potifar did not know if she or her daughter would be the one to marry Yossef. (See Rashi Bereshith 39:1) Mrs. Potifar though motivated with a noble purpose persisted in her attempts to seduce Yossef (39:6,10)
Finally, Yossef was about to succumb to his master’s wife’s advances and at would seem the last minute he… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on December 10, 2009 at 9:39pm —
Announcing the production of a new product from The Geulah Company: The Maoz Tzur (Rock Of Ages) Battle Song
Whenever you feel the yetzer hora’s forces getting the best of you (either those from inside you or from outside of you), hum to yourself, as a call to arms, the tune of Maoz Tzur (the song we sing when the Chanukah lights are burning).
You’ll find that Maoz Tzur is a very effective… Continue
Added by Dovid Shmuel Irwin, MD on December 10, 2009 at 5:30pm —
With the help of HaShem my wife just gave birth to a beautiful and health baby boy. Shalom Zachar in our house this Friday night.
Simchos by all of Klal Yisroel.
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on December 9, 2009 at 11:00pm —
In this week’s parsha Yaakov sends angels to Eisav (32;4) to inform him that he's coming (Rashi: 32;6).
The question is: Why did Yaakov purposely inform Eisav through angels that he was coming to town? Eisav wanted to kill him! The Gemara (Shabbat, 32b) states that one shouldn't put themselves in danger!?!
Rashi (32;6) answers: To tell Eisav that he’s a peace with him and to seek his love.
However, why is seeking peace and… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on December 3, 2009 at 11:21pm —
Bereshith 32:14-33:20 Ya’akov Our Father’s journey home is included in many prayer books as part of the prayers recited after the conclusion of the Shabbat. The Strasnitzer Rebbe ZT’L ZY’A as well as the Amshinover Rebbe ZT’L ZY’A among others observed this practice of reciting part of Parshat VaYshlach as preparation for a trip. In fact. Rabbi Yheudah Ashkenazi ZT’L ZY’A comments in his commentary on Schulchan Aruch ( B’air Haitaiv ,Orach Chaim Chap.299 note 14) that even though the ARI Z’L… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on December 3, 2009 at 9:41pm —