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Vayeitzei

Parashat Vayeitzei
 
Jacobs-Ladder

November 2012

This week's Sedra, Vayeitzei, starts off with Jacob journeying away from his family after having aroused the anger of his brother Esau for 'taking' the blessings from his father Isaac.  The verse states that as he was journeying towards Charan, he 'encountered the place'.  Our Rabbis inform us that G-d is called "The Place" ("Hamakom") and that the Hebrew word 'encounter' often means prayer. 

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Toldot

Parashat Toldot
 
toldot

This week’s Sedra, Toldot, starts with the birth of Jacob and Esau.  We are told that Yitzchak was barren, and he prayed to G-d for children.  Why did this have to happen?  Our Rabbis tell us that while shady trees grow by themselves, fruit trees need nurturing.  In the same way, the wicked bear children by themselves, whereas the righteous must first pray.  That Yitzchak and Rebecca were barren before they prayed showed that they were righteous, and that G-d longed for their prayers, as He does all righteous people.

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Chayei Sarah

Parashat Chayei Sara
 
Sarah

Concerning the Matriarch Sarah, we are told that she was “as beautiful at twenty as seven, as sinless at one hundred as at twenty”.  It’s hard to understand why Sarah’s beauty is mentioned here at all, especially following her death.  The answer is that just as wealth and poverty serve to test man, so does beauty.  Thus, after death, if someone excuses his sins with his handsomeness, he is asked, “Were you more handsome than Yosef?”

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Parashat Vayeira

Jacob EsauParashat Vayera

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Lech Lecha

Parashat Lech Lecha

“G-d said to Abraham ‘Get yourself from this country, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you’”.

Abraham Journeying

The first verse of this week’s Sedra is fascinating.  The Torah tells us that Abraham was no youngster when he was told to leave his homeland - he was 75.  Think for a minute - imagine a relative of yours who is, let’s say, of advanced years.

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