The Confrontation

“Jacob sent messengers (malachim).” – Genesis 32:4 According to Sforno, Jacob sent messengers, in order to find out Esau’s state of mind concerning him (Sforno, sefaria.org). Jacob had spent twenty years working for his Uncle Laban; now, Jacob was returning to his native land, as stated in Genesis 31:13. He was concerned that Esau mayContinue reading “The Confrontation”

Of Angels and Men

B”H “And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of G-d met him. “And Jacob said when he saw them: ‘This is G-d’s camp.’ And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.” – Genesis 32:2-3, JPS 1917 Tanach An impasse was reached in the life of Jacob; a brief moment, after his encounterContinue reading “Of Angels and Men”

Knowledge of the Ages

B”H motzei shabbos: Toldos 5781 “And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham.” – Genesis 26:18, JPS 1917 Tanach After the death of Abraham, “the springs of wisdom,” were stopped up. Yet, “when Isaac, his son, came and held to his father’s path, he taught thisContinue reading “Knowledge of the Ages”

Internal Struggle

“And the children struggled within her.” – Genesis 25:22, JPS 1917 Tanach Rebecca had twins, who were named Jacob and Esau. They were at odds with each other even within the womb. Their struggle depicts the internal battle within ourselves: the conflict between the yetzer tov (good inclination) and the yetzer harah (the evil inclination).Continue reading “Internal Struggle”

In the Merit of Sarah

“And Isaac came from the way of Beer-lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the land of the South. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide; and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.” – Genesis 24:62-63, JPS 1917 Tanach After the Akeidah Yitzchak (the BindingContinue reading “In the Merit of Sarah”

Abraham’s Merit

B”H motzei Shabbos: parashas Vayeira 5781 “G-d was mindful of Abraham and removed Lot from the midst of the upheaval.” Genesis 19:29, JPS 1985 Tanach “Even during a time of wrath of the Holy One, Blessed be He, He remembers the righteous, as it is stated: ‘And it came to pass when G-d destroyed theContinue reading “Abraham’s Merit”

Abraham’s Kindness

“Walk in My ways, and be blameless.” – Genesis 17:1, JPS 1985 Tanach Abraham is acknowledged for his endless reservoir of chesed; yet, it is interesting to note, that the Torah does not specifically give any mention of his acts of kindness, until after he is circumcised at the age of ninety-nine. The bris millahContinue reading “Abraham’s Kindness”

Cleansing the Soul

motzei Shabbos Lech Lecha 5781 The commandment, “lech lecha”may also be rendered, “go to yourself.” We may take this commandment upon ourselves. We may do so by going out from the confines of the animal soul, that restricts one’s focus to the mundane, and going towards the elevated status of the nefesh haElokim, the godlyContinue reading “Cleansing the Soul”

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