Parashat & Current Events

Vayaitzai 5781

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Vayaitzai 5781

It is a mystery why and how “original” ideas just fall into one’s consciousness. Although it could be argued that every idea, as original as it might seem, is the byproduct of associations with previous ideas, ad infinitum.

This week’s essay came to my mind through four associations: Ya’akov’s impelled exit from his holy home and holy land; the appointment of a new director of Yad Vashem; the unbridled wedding of the Satmar Rebbe’s grandson clandestinely put together for thousands of Chassidim (with or without the knowledge of the mayor and police who need his friendship when elections come up), and the siyum of tractate Eruvin in the Daf haYomi.

Be forewarned that the end is not for the weak at heart.

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Toldot 5781

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Toldot 5781

Rivka suffered with her pregnancy and went to obtain advice at the yeshiva of Shem and his son Ever. There she was told that in her womb were twins who would become the forefathers of two opposing nations; two antithetical, contradictory cultures which were destined to navigate the course of history; and that the younger would surpass the older.

Question: Why did Rivka not turn to the greatest spiritual figure of her generation, her husband Yitzchak? And furthermore, how could Rivka act to divert the blessings to Ya’akov against her husband’s wishes?

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Chayai Sarah 5781

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Chayai Sarah 5781

If I were able to deliver a message to President Donald Trump, I would suggest the following:

Bow your head and thank the good Lord for terminating your presidency. In fact, this applies equally to Jared Kushner, Ambassador David Friedman, Avi Berkowitz and all the other Jews who contributed over the last four years to the security of Israel and to the enduring noble status of Yerushalayim, in view of what is brought down in the Talmud (tractate Chagiga 5a).

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Vayeira 5781

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Vayeira 5781

The Prophet Zecharia foresaw that, in the future, two funerals would be held in Jerusalem whose eulogies would be on a par with those of Yoshiyahu and Achav.

Since the destruction of the Second Temple, the City of Jerusalem has not known such impressive funerals as those of my brother, Rabbi Meir Kahane and of Yitzchak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel. Rabin was not an Achav and my brother was not a Yoshiyahu, but in their lives we can identify patterns resembling those of the two kings.

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Lech Lecha 5781

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Lech Lecha 5781

We meet our illustrious grandparents Avraham and Sarah in the last verses of parashat Noach, but there is no information regarding what made them the chosen human beings of HaShem and progenitors of HaShem’s chosen nation – Am YIsrael.

In actuality, the story of Avraham and Sarah is inseparably bound to the episode of Kayin and Hevel, even though they are not mentioned by name as follows…

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Noach 5781

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Noach 5781

At some point in our lives, HaShem presents us with a custom-made moment of truth – to fulfill our potential or to cling to an easy non-challenging path.

At this time in history, HaShem is presenting our brothers and sisters in the galut with their moment of truth. On the one side is aliya to Medinat Yisrael – returning to the God-given home of the Jewish nation. On the other side is remaining in the galut where the Jew and his family link their future with the gentiles to be partners in their destiny.

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Bereishiet 5781

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Bereishiet 5781

Of all human frailties, the one most likely to cause us grief and suffering is our compulsion for great expectations. (Charles Dickens, in 1860, authored a book of that name, tracing the life story of the orphan Pip and his attempts to become a gentleman).

The greater one’s ability to envision and project, the greater his capacity to expect and to become overwhelmed with disappointment. It occurs in one’s professional life when the “dream job” turns into a nightmare or when the idealization of a future blissful life with one’s “soulmate” turns into “sourmate”.

Can we find a similar phenomenon in the spiritual world? Does HaShem react as would a disappointed person? Are there unfulfilled great expectations in our relationship with the Creator when we fail miserably in His eyes?

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