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Derech Eretz Kadma l’Torah: To Be a Mensch
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When I was growing up, a friend whose parents were not home when school let out often came to my home after school. We enjoyed our afternoons together; we would do our homework, find something to amuse ourselves with and then have supper. After eating, we benched and then, without exception, before rising from the […]
Unique Blessing: Each Student, Each Person
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The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all its grace is as the flower of the field; The grass withers, the flower fades; when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people is like grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the […]
Did Yaakov Steal the Berachos?
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For seventeen years, I had the privilege to study one-on-one with Rav Yaakov Weinberg, zt’l, Rosh Hayeshiva of Yeshivat Ner Yisrael of Baltimore. Rav Weinberg was one of the Torah luminaries of the 20th century, and he had a profound impact on the lives of thousands of his students, not to mention his students’ students […]
The Blessing of a Father: Isaac’s “Blindness”?
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The choreography of Yaakov’s “theft” of Esav’s blessing is well-known. Favored by Rivkah , he conspires with her to take advantage of his father’s failing eyesight to win Yitzchak’s blessing, leaving Esav, favored by his father, to go without the honor of the first-born. This reading of parshat Toldot makes central the animosity between the […]
Hibur: Yes, we are our brothers’ keepers
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“They kidnapped me.” On June 12th those words, those horrible words, were whispered by Gilad Shaer into his cell phone. He had been hitch hiking in Gush Etzion with Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah. Three teenagers. Youngsters. Children. Our children. Hiking in our Judean Hills on their way home from yeshiva when Palestinian terrorists, members […]