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The Way God Speaks
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God hardened Pharoah’s heart. But why? What was the purpose? Why was there a need to force Pharoah to absorb plague after plague after plague? The Torah tells us that the purpose was: “So that you will relate into the ears of your son and your son’s son how I toyed with Egypt—and My signs that […]
Of Blessing and Jealousy: The Deep Story of Names
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She may be wise, and he may be kind, but those are descriptions, not names. She may be Dr., and he may be Professor, but those are titles, not names. Names touch on something else, something altogether different. What’s the sōd? What’s the “secret,” deeper, inner meaning of a name? Adam HaRishon Names … The […]
Jealousy, Diversity and Redemption
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Of Blessing and Jealousy Our sages tell us that the tragic jealousy that grew in the brothers hearts towards their brother Yosef was rooted in the fact that Yacov had given Yosef a special gift, the unique striped coat, the k’tones passim. That being the case, how is it conceivable that when, at the end […]
Leadership, Truth and Israel
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The Power to Rule In the ancient world, to rule, required power, and the power that undergirded every sovereign was, ultimately, military power. A king without an army is a king with no authority, a king who’s words and decrees carry no weight. But the Jewish people had an entirely different relationship to power and […]
The Dream of a Glass Half Empty
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One emanation of God’s light is pnimi—internal—shining and filling the kli, the vessel it illuminates … Another emanation is makif—surrounding—a light in which the kli, the vessel, is submerged … Yehuda was ohr pnimi, the internal light, the light defined by the boundaries of the vessel. Yosef was ohr makif, the surrounding light, the light […]
Ever Forward. Ever Forward.
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Life is full of truly difficult challenges. Our paths are frequently strewn with agonizing, confounding and maddening obstacles. Enough. Enough. It’s only natural that after going through a trying, challenging time, that we want a break, a little peace and quiet. It’s human nature to try to avoid obstacles, impediments and difficulties; to seek a […]