Sunday, January 29, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Lights of Love

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


Tamar: From Objectification to the Image of God

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


How Boundaries Free Our Souls

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


The Land of Curiosity

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


Yaakov’s Authenticity

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


Morality in War

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.”

“…Ya’akov was


The Torah’s View on Infertility

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


Broken Engagements

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


Friendly Fire

Shortly before the expected confrontation between Yaakov and Eisav, Yaakov was met by the guardian angel of Eisav, and they had a wrestling match (32:25 and Rashi). The pasuk (v.26) says that he was unable to defeat Yaakov, but hit him in his hip-socket. The Seforno explains that he was unable to defeat Yaakov since Yaakov was so engrossed


God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Take a moment and think, when you are in danger or trouble, what do you do? Do you call someone? Do you try to distance yourself from reality? Do you take action? Do you pray to God? Or do you do something completely different?

In Parshat Vayishlach, Yaakov is filled with fear that his brother Eisav is


Yeshiva University Launches Online Courses In Gemara, Tanach and Halacha

(Courtesy of YU) Yeshiva University’s Graduate Program of Advanced Talmudic Studies (GPATS) has launched a new online learning program called “Inside the GPATS Beit Midrash” to provide expert, in-depth analysis of core Jewish texts. People from all over the world will now join the classrooms of renowned faculty and


Religion and Belongingness

Ya’akov barely escapes his homicidal brother, fleeing from his family, penniless and alone. Traveling at night to a faraway sanctuary, he is uncertain about his future and uncomfortable about his past. Though his mother supported him and promoted his interests, his father always favored his violent older brother. Even though

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