Yakov

Acharei – Seducing the Satan

Why do we seem to offer a sacrifice to the Other Side on Yom Kippur? Why does the atonement occur then? Why do we offer the exact same type of animal to Hashem as to the Other Side? Is Yakov sincere in his gift to Esav and his admission that Esav should have the blessings?…

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Vayigash – Climax and culmination

How do we view the tikkun of the reunification of the family of Yisrael? How do we understand the dichotomy of the redemptive qualities of this event, as opposed to the fact that it is the start of the Egyptian exile? Why does Yakov return to Beer Sheva on the way down to Egypt? Why…

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Vayishlach – Yakov, Rochel and Binyomin

Why is Yakov given another name? What is the significance of the name Yisrael? Why is it given immediately before Binyomin’s birth? Why does Rochel die as Binyomin is born? What is the secret spiritual power of Binyomin? Find out in this week’s Parsha Podcast. Running time: 24:12

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Toldos – Beginnings and Ends

How do we understand the unusual fact that Yakov is named for the heel (ekev)? What is the significance of the fact that Yakov was holding Esav’s heel as they were being born? Why is Yakov so intent on purchasing the first-born rights and getting the blessings of the firstborn? Why does the Torah interrupt…

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Yom Kippur – Bribing the Satan

What is the secret of the goat that was sent to the wilderness? How can we conceive of the concept of a bribe for the Satan? What is the parallel to the story of Yakov and Esav? How does this apply to our unique times? Find out in this week’s Parsha Podcast. Running time: 22:39

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Shavuos and redemption

What is the deeper significance of the custom to stay up all night learning Torah? Why did the Jewish people wake up late on the morning of receiving the Torah? What is the parallel to Yakov who also had a contrasting night of sleep and being awake? What is the connection to the future redemption?…

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Jerusalem: Not For Sale

What is it about Yerushalayim that makes it so central on the world stage? Why does the United States government care if we build in our capital? Why does the Arab world get up in arms if we build a synagogue in our capital city? What is it about the current situation that is so…

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Dina and Shechem revisited (again)

I have had some interesting responses to the podcast/post on Dina and Shechem, and I wanted to share some of my further thoughts on the matter. Much of the following thoughts came as a result of discussions I had with my wife as well as my sister. I also thank TQ for bringing up this…

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Vayetzei – Moshiach ben Yosef and כיבוד אב ואם

Why did Yakov need to lay the foundations for the Jewish people in the house of Lavan? Why does he seem to get punished for not honoring his parents during these twenty two years by Yosef not being to honor him for a corresponding amount of time? What is the significance of the fact that…

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Moshiach's crown and Yakov's path

In a previous post, we discussed the Gemara in Sotah that talks about Yosef and his brothers going up to Eretz Yisroel to bury Yakov Avinu. The gemara describes how the children of Yishmael, Esav, and Keturah all come out to battle the children of Yakov. When they saw Yosef’s crown which he had placed…

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