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Does the End Justify the Means?
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The Machiavellian concept “The Ends Justify the Means” has been a source of much of the evil that the world has known. One example is the Western intellectuals who viewed themselves as humanists who nevertheless supported Stalin, believing that his atrocities were necessary steps for achieving a better future for humanity. But if we do […]
Parshat Toldot: The Misconceptions of Prayer
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“And Yitzchak prayed for his wife because she was barren and Hashem answered him and Rivka his wife conceived.” (Beresheit 25:21) This passage is the first instance in which the Torah explicitly makes reference to prayer. Rivka was childless and Yitzchak prayed to Hashem and asked that they be given children. This incident clearly illustrates […]
Parshat Toldot: What’s So Important about the Soup?
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“And Esav said to Yaakov, “Pour into me, now, from this very red food for I am exhausted.” Therefore, he is called Edom”. (Beresheit 25:30) Esav comes home from the fields. He is exhausted and famished. Yaakov is cooking a red soup. Esav asks Yaakov to give him the soup. Yaakov asks Esav to sell […]
Yaakov and Rivkah’s Ethical Struggle
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And Yaakov said to Rivkah his mother: But Esav is a hairy man and I am a smooth-skinned man. Perhaps, my father will feel me and I will be a deceiver in his eyes. And I will bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing. And his mother said to him: Upon me will […]
Toldos: Mitzvah Power!
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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 […]