Posts by NKahana

Vayaitzai 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Vayaitzai 5778

Ya’akov sets out for Lavan’s home to find a wife. Yet unlike Avraham’s servant Eliezer, who dozens of years before had arrived at that same well, with a caravan laden with wealth, Ya’akov arrives empty-handed.

Rashi (Bereishiet 29:11) explains that Ya’akov left home with great wealth. When it became known to Esav, he dispatched his son Eliphaz (Amalek’s father) to murder him. Eliphaz caught up with Ya’akov and was about to fulfill his father’s demand when Ya’akov suggested that instead, he take all of Ya’akov’s possessions. Then, in accordance with the principle that “a destitute person is considered as dead,” Eliphaz would be credited with murdering Ya’akov. Eliphaz accepted Ya’akov’s offer.

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Toldot 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Toldot 5778

Rivka suffered with her pregnancy and went to obtain advice at the yeshiva of Shem and Ever. There she was told that in her womb were twins who would become the forefathers of two nations who would change the course of history, and that the younger would surpass the older.

Why did Rivka go to the yeshiva of Shem and Ever, which according to some was situated in the northern city of Tzfat, while Rivka was living in Hevron; she could have taken advice from the greatest spiritual figure of her generation, her husband Yitzchak?

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Chayai Sarah 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Chayai Sarah 5778

Avraham Avinu sends his servant, Eliezer of Damascus, on a vital mission to find a suitable wife for Avraham’s son Yitzchak; thus entrusting Eliezer with the future of Klal Yisrael.

Towards evening, Eliezer arrives in record time at Avraham’s birthplace, Ur Kasdim, setting his caravan to rest by the town well. He then turns to the God of his master with a request that He “…show kindness to my master Avraham” (Bereishiet 24: 15-20.) Verse 15 begins:

“And it came to pass, that before He (Eliezer) had finished speaking, Rivka approached…”

The Torah points out that before Eliezer concluded his prayer to God, the selection had already been made.

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Vayaira 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Vayaira 5778

Why did these two people merit such impressive funerals and eulogies, which serve as the model for future eulogies of two great men in Yerushalayim?

The problem is especially acute with regard to Achav, who is mentioned in the Mishna (Sanhedrin 90a) as one of the three kings who lost their place in Olam Haba, (paradise)! (The other two being Yeravam ben Navat and Menashe ben Chizkiyahu.)

It would be an understatement to say that Achav did not follow the Torah. He and his Gentile (Phoenician) wife, E’zevel (Jezebel) murdered all of the religious leaders of the northern tribes, except for 100 who were hidden in caves by the righteous Ovadia (Melachim I 18:4). Achav introduced idolatry into every Jewish home by the sword, but when he died he was interred with an astonishingly large, emotional funeral, and with loving eulogies.

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Lech Lecha 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Lech Lecha 5778

A student at the Hebrew University was noticeably affected while reading the Bible. When his professor asked what had so aroused his enthusiasm, the young man replied that it was the story of the parting of the Red Sea. The professor, who was not a Torah-observant person, told the young student to calm down because, according to the scientists, the Red Sea at that time was, at most, ten centimeters deep. A few minutes later, the young student became even more enthusiastic as he read further, and again the professor asked for the reason. The student replied, “What a great God we have. He was able to drown the entire Egyptian army in only ten centimeters of water.”

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Noach 5778

»Posted in Divrei Torah

Noach 5778

The waters retreated and the ground began to restore its mantle of green, and the feeling that a new age had begun enveloped Noach and his family. But it was not a consummate joy, because in the back of his mind Noach harbored the fear that in the future there could be another deluge to destroy all mankind.

The Creator alleviated Noach’s fears with an assurance that He would never again cover the earth with water as a punishment for man’s evil deeds, and He decreed that the rainbow would forever serve as the symbol of this declaration.

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