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Dreams for the Near – and Distant – Future
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וַתָּבֹאנָה אֶל קִרְבֶּנָה וְלֹא נוֹדַע כִּי בָאוּ אֶל קִרְבֶּנָה וּמַרְאֵיהֶן רַע כַּאֲשֶׁר בַּתְּחִלָּה They [the fat cows] came inside of them [the thin cows], and it as not apparent that they had come inside of them, and their appearance remained inferior, as at first (41:21) Although most of the elements within Pharaoh’s dreams featured in […]
The Sale of Yosef and Pidyon Haben
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וַיִּמְשְׁכוּ וַיַּעֲלוּ אֶת יוֹסֵף מִן הַבּוֹר וַיִּמְכְּרוּ אֶת יוֹסֵף לַיִּשְׁמְעֵאלִים בְּעֶשְׂרִים כָּסֶף They drew Yosef up and lifted him out of the pit and sold Yosef to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver (37:28) A Surprising Association The sale of Yosef was an act which has had repercussions throughout our history. According to Chazal, […]
Divine Inventory
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וַיְהִי לִי שׁוֹר וַחֲמוֹר I have acquired oxen and donkeys.” (32:6) Our parsha begins with Yaakov’s conciliatory message to Esav upon his return home after twenty years in Lavan’s house. In the course of that message, Yaakov lists the assets he acquired while away.[1] Looking at our pasuk, the Meshech Chochmah raises an interesting question: […]
Destinations and Expectations
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וַיִּשָּׂא יַעֲקֹב רַגְלָיו וַיֵּלֶךְ אַרְצָה בְנֵי קֶדֶם Yaakov lifted his feet and went towards the land of those who dwell in the east (29:1) In the beginning of the Parsha, Yaakov sets out to journey to Charan. On the way, he alights at the place of the Beis Hamikdash, where Hashem appears to him in […]
Words Unspoken; Yitzchak’s Mitzvah
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Words Unspoken – Heard Loud and Clear וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם לְאִשְׁתּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲחֹתִי הִוא כִּי יָרֵא לֵאמֹר אִשְׁתִּי פֶּן יַהַרְגֻנִי אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם עַל רִבְקָה כִּי טוֹבַת מַרְאֶה הִיא. The men of the place inquired about his wife and he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say “My wife,” lest the men […]
Machpelah, Lavan and Yishmael: Three Vignettes
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Acquiring Ma’aras HaMachpeilah וַיָּקָם שְׂדֵה עֶפְרוֹן אֲשֶׁר בַּמַּכְפֵּלָה… לְאַבְרָהָם לְמִקְנָה לְעֵינֵי בְנֵי חֵת וַיָּקָם הַשָּׂדֶה וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ לְאַבְרָהָם לַאֲחֻזַּת קָבֶר מֵאֵת בְּנֵי חֵת. Efron’s field in Machpeilah was confirmed… to Avraham as an acquisition in the view of Bnei Ches. (23:17-18) The field with the cave that was in it was confirmed to Avraham […]
Two Calls from Heaven
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וַיִּקְרָא מַלְאַךְ אֱלֹקִים אֶל הָגָר מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם An angel of God called to Hagar from heaven (21:17) First Call: Hagar in the Desert One of the episodes in this week’s parsha involves the sending away of Hagar and Yishmael from Avraham’s house. Having lost her way and with the water in her flask having run […]
When is “After”?; Avraham’s Chiddush
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When is “After”? וַה’ אָמַר אֶל אַבְרָם אַחֲרֵי הִפָּרֶד לוֹט מֵעִמּוֹ שָׂא נָא עֵינֶיךָ וּרְאֵה מִן הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה שָׁם… כִּי אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה רֹאֶה לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה וּלְזַרְעֲךָ עַד עוֹלָם. Hashem said to Avram after Lot had parted from him, “Raise now your eyes and look out from where you are… for all […]
Noach and His Generations; The Year of the Flood
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Noach and His Generations אֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה בְּדֹרֹתָיו These are the offspring of Noach, Noach was a righteous man, complete in his generations. (6:9) Some questions regarding this pasuk: What does the phrase “in his generations” add and why is it in the plural? What is the meaning of the […]
Tzelem Elokim
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וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ. God said, “Let us make Man in Our image, after Our likeness.” (1:16) Commenting on this pasuk, the Midrash says:[1] With whom was He consulting? R’ Ami says, He was consulting with His heart. This may compared to a king who commissioned an architect to build a palace for […]