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Rabbi Asher Brander

Rabbi Asher Brander

Rabbi Asher Brander is Rabbi of the Westwood Kehilla, Founder/Dean of the LINK (Los Angeles INtercommunity) Kollel, and has been a long time High School Rebbe.

Shemos: The Jew Returns Home

December 21, 2010, by

Sooner or later, we all grow up. For some, that transitional moment may slip by while others find their epiphany may accompany a smile, a tear, or a knowing nod. When does it happen? One might say it is the moment that one realizes there is no turning back. Consider the chap who looks at […]

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Vayechi: A Real Blessing

December 11, 2010, by

Yaakov is going to die. The exile is to begin. Before he departs, he delivers parting blessings – at least that is what the text says [49:28]. All these are tribes of Israel, twelve [of them]; and this is what their father spoke to them and he blessed them. He blessed them each with his […]

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Parshat VaYigash

December 2, 2010, by

In a parsha of dramatic reunions, one that often falls beneath the radar, that of father and son, tantalizes with its ambiguity: Yosef harnessed his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen; and he appeared before him, he fell on his neck, and he wept on his neck עוד od . […]

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Miketz: Ready or Not, Here I Come

December 1, 2010, by

In a “big” parsha of dreams, ascent, drama, turmoil and tears, one “minor ” pasuk looms large: Then Paroh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his clothing and came in unto Paroh.(Bereishis, 41:14) In this verse, with a stunning Seforno insight embellished […]

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Vayishlach: From Devorah to Devorah

November 16, 2010, by

Dinah is violated and Shimon and Levi do something about it – they wipe out the male Shechemites[1]. In principle, it seems that Yaakov agrees, he is simply worried about the fallout [Bereishis, 34:30]: Thereupon, Yaakov said to Shimon and Levi, “You have troubled me, to discredit me among the inhabitants of the land, .. […]

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Vayeshev: The Benefit of Doubt

November 8, 2010, by

The brothers want to kill Yosef. Reuven must think quickly, wisely and courageously.[37:18-22] They saw him [Yosef] from a distance, and before he approached them they were plotting against him to kill him. .. Reuven heard and rescued him from their hands. He said, “Let us not kill him.” .. His purpose was to rescue […]

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Vayetzei: The Power of Hidden Love

November 8, 2010, by

It is perhaps the greatest act of selflessness in Biblical lore[1]. As Rachel stands ready to marry Yaakov, something they have been pining for seven long years, Lavan has a different plan: [29:22-25] Lavan gathered all the local people and he made a [wedding] feast. When it was evening, he took Leah, his daughter, and […]

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Toldos: Mitzvah Power!

November 5, 2010, by

Chapter 27. Yaakov wrests the brachos from Eisav. Different subplots merge into a poignant climax; a story whose drama melds irony, complexity, sarcasm, sadness and ultimate triumph, yet in the process leaves so many questions – Consider a few: Did Yitzchak understand Eisav’s character? Yaakov’s? Wasn’t Yitzchak aware of the prophecy that “the younger one […]

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Avraham: Something for Everyone

October 25, 2010, by

It’s one of those quaint things that many of us grew up with, even as we had no clue why it was and how to process it. I refer to a woman named Keturah, a detail in the epilogue of our parsha – an apparent footnote in a major transition between Avraham and Yitzchak. The […]

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