Being Special – VaYeshev 5784

In the Biblical narrative, the word “vayehi” is taken to mean “it was,” from the root meaning “to be.” It often introduces a particular episode which the Rabbis consider woeful (from the combination of “vay” and “hee”). In Genesis 39:2 “vayehi” appears three times in...

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Adapt and Live – VaYishlah 5784

Consumed with worry over the Kishinev Pogrom (1903), the Russo-Japanese War (1904), the Bolshevik Revolution (1917), and World War I, the heads of European yeshivot considered fleeing with their students rather than waiting for the threats to pass. Joe Bobker (To Flee...

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Lighthouses – Toldot 5784

In two Hebrew words the text compresses the years of childhood development into a matter of size: “The youths grew” (Genesis 25:27). Readers gain no insights into the personalities of Esav and Jacob, their hopes and dreams, how their failures or achievements affected...

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Ladies First – Lekh Lekha 5784

Part of biblical scholarship consists of orthography, the study of the conventional spelling of Hebrew words. Since the Hebrew language requires differentiation according to gender and number, departures from the norm become fertile grounds for examination, often...

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Words to Live By

What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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