Posts by Ari Goldwag

Mikeitz – Dreams and Chanukah

What is the idea of the teaching that the dream’s manifestation follows the interpretation? What happens when one dreams after drinking wine? Is there intrinsic significance to the symbols in a dream? What is the depth of the idea of all the dreams in the story of Yosef? How does all this relate to Chanukah?…

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Vayeshev – Yosef’s Dreams

Why does Yosef begin his telling of the dreams to the brothers with the language ‘please hear?’ What does the midrash mean when it refers to the fruits of the brothers ‘rotting’ and the fruits of Yosef ‘lasting?’ Why does the word for sheaf (alam) have the same root as the word for mute (ilem)?…

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Vayishlach – Shimon and Levi

This week’s podcast is dedicated in memory of Eliyahu ben Aharon and Pinchos Ben Yakov by Arthur Shisman. Why are Shimon and Levi referred to as the ‘sons of Yaakov?’ Why are they called the ‘brothers of Dinah?’ What is the true concept of a brother or sister? How were they so sure they would…

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Vayetzei – Purifying Challenges

Why does Yaakov face the challenge of Esav, his brother who wants to kill him, then run off to Lavan’s house and face the new challenge of another difficult character? Why do the matriarchs have such difficulties – both with each other and with Yaakov? Why does Leah stop being able to conceive when Yehuda…

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Toldos – Chamber of Exchanges

Why does Yaakov have to trick Esav to give him the spiritual firstborn rights? Why does he have to trick his father Yitzchak to get the blessings? Why didn’t Hashem just cause Yaakov to be born first? Why was Yosef a younger brother when he, too, could have been born earlier and avoided the trouble?…

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Chayei Sarah – Surrender and Sacrifice

Why is the description of the Akeida (Binding of Isaac) and Rivka’s birth juxtaposed to Sarah’s death? Why is it so hard for Avraham to purchase the location for Sarah’s burial? Why must he pay top dollar? Why does Eliezer have to go so far to find a wife for Yitzchak? Why is it that…

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Vayera – Avraham and Sodom

What is the idea behind Avraham’s unique relationship with Sodom? How does it parallel the descent of the Jewish people into Egypt, and really of the many exiles we’ve experienced? What is the idea behind Avraham’s middah (trait) of Chessed-kindness, in contrast with Sarah’s trait of Gevurah-boundary? What is the unique relationship that the Jewish…

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Lech Lecha – Kingdom of Kindness

What is the unique mission of Avraham Avinu? Why does the Torah deem it important to tell us of his wealth and great stature? Why does the Torah teach us about his conquest of the four and five kings? Why were the wise men of Nimrod so fearful when Avraham was born, such that they…

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Noach – Times of Transition

Why does the Torah go into so much detail in describing the generation of the flood, and then the dispersion before bringing Abraham onto the scene? What was the difference between the sin of the generation of the flood and that of the dispersion? Why is the name Elokim (judgment) used in the flood and…

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Vzos Habracha/Breishis – Ending and Beginning

Why do we read the final portion of the Torah on Shmini Atzeres, not on Shabbos? What is the difference between Atzeres (stop) and Shabbos (stop)? Why do we complete the Torah and then start it again immediately? Why does the torah conclude with blessings and the death of Moshe? What is Hashem’s name which…

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