(Courtesy of OU) The Orthodox Union’s (OU) Torah Initiative hosted a siyum, an event commemorating the completion of a unit of Torah, at its headquarters in downtown Manhattan. The siyum marked the ending of the study of a unit of Seder Zeraim.
The siyum, which took place in
From biblical times till the Middle Ages, science, like most other human pursuits, was intertwined with theology as normal human activities. In more modern
In Parshat Vayeshev we learn about the importance of yerida, going down. While that may seem strange because we say to make aliya, go up, to Israel or that people try to strive higher, there is a big value in yerida. In Torah reading this week, Yehuda goes down in status and to a place away from his siblings. We also
Our environment poses a constant challenge to our morality, specifically with regard to the core Jewish values of modesty and sanctity in the intimate realm. We are surrounded by what appears to be an ever-intensifying emphasis on the seductive and a continuous erosion of boundaries. This is not new for the Jewish people and was in fact a
The first Rashi in our parsha notes that whereas earlier the Torah briefly mentioned the circumstances of Eisav’s offspring and where he settled for they were not treasured or important to Hashem, our parsha, begins to go into lengthy detail about Yaakov’s offspring and where he settled, for they are important to Hashem. Rashi gives a
A major theme throughout the latter section of Sefer Bereishit is the emergence of Yehuda as the leader of Yaakov’s 12 sons, as confirmed by Yaakov in the beracha he gives at the end of his life. In fact, as David Schwartz noted in his article in Volume 29 of Hakirah, this episode is the fulcrum of the entire narrative of the first two
Last summer, our family spent Shabbos at a retreat program in Cortlandt, New York. It’s a gorgeous place, with rolling grass, mountains and hills. There were lots of Jewish families there. It seemed like we could walk anywhere we wanted, but everyone kept stopping near a certain pole. I took a closer look and saw that the pole had a lechi
He looked out at a city of lights and searched for its unseen designer. Noticing that a human being finally discerned Him, the divine architect of this grand city looked back and revealed Himself to Avraham. For thousands of years, people were too engrossed in survival mode to probe their world and pursue its Creator. By following
Genuineness in our relationships is critical. At the beginning of our parsha (32:5), Yaakov instructs his messengers, “This you shall say to my master to Eisav: ‘So said your servant Yaakov: I have sojourned with Lavan …’”
We notice that even when speaking privately to his own servants, Yaakov
This week’s portion, Vayishlach, contains a fascinating detail, hidden in the larger than life story of Ya’akov’s encounter with Eisav.
The Torah tells us:
“Vayira Ya’akov me’od, vayeitzer lo.”
In recent Torah parsha readings, we seem to come across many instances where our matriarchs had difficulty conceiving. Sarah only had a baby at the age of 90. Rebecca waited 20 years to conceive with Yitzchak. Rachel also had trouble conceiving a baby. The Tenach mentions the wife of Manoach, Hannah, the woman from Shunam and Ruth as other
Reb Naftali Weinberg in his sefer, “Rav Chaim Kanievsky on Shidduchim” had posed a question to Maran Sar HaTorah about whether one may ask a shadchan to return the shadchanus if the engagement was broken. Rav Chaim, zt”l ruled that one may not.
Broken engagements are never a pleasant item of