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Moses the Man
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That very day the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel for a possession. And die on the mountain which you go up, and be […]
Ha’azinu: Two Songs, Two Singers
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How does the poet get started on the process of writing a poem, or the songwriter as he sets about composing a song? Does he or she look at the environment, at what is going on in the world and seek inspiration from things external? Or does the creative artist look within, using introspection as a tool to uncover emotions out of which the poem or song can be fashioned? These questions can be asked about all creative processes, not just writing. They can be asked of the graphic artist, of the composer of music, of the sculptor.
The Gym and the Spa
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Life seems to make no sense- when you look at it the wrong way.   Imagine that you are invited to an exclusive health club. You’ve never been there, but you know the layout. On the right side is the gym; on the left is the spa. The gym is the area where people work […]
Miketz: Does Yosef Have a Plan?
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Does Yosef have a plan? He was certainly planning [a way out of jail] when he interpreted the dream of the “sar ha’Mashkim” (see 40:13-15). He was definitely planning [his own ‘political appointment’] when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams (see 41:33-36!). Clearly, Yosef was not only a dreamer; he was also a ‘master planner’.   But what […]
Vayeshev: Who Really Sold Yosef?
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Could it be that the brothers DID NOT sell Yosef! As shocking as this statement may sound to anyone familiar with the story of Yosef & his brothers; a careful reading of that narrative in Chumash may actually support this possibility! In the following shiur, we explore this fascinating possibility (and its consequences) while taking […]
Vayishlach: Yaakov’s Return to Bet-El
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This shiur provided courtesy of The Tanach Study Center In memory of Rabbi Abraham Leibtag Upon his arrival in Eretz Canaan, why doesn’t Yaakov go straight home to his parents in Hebron? After all, he has been away from his parents for over twenty years! Secondly, why doesn’t Yaakov return immediately to Bet-el to fulfill his […]
Vayishlach: From Yaakov to Yisrael – Part 2
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This shiur provided courtesy of The Tanach Study Center In memory of Rabbi Abraham Leibtag Read part 1 here There must be something important about names in Parshat Vayishlach, for we find that Yaakov’s name is changed to Yisrael; and it happens twice! In the following shiur, we attempt to understand why, by considering its connection […]
Vayishlach: From Yaakov to Yisrael – Part 1
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This shiur provided courtesy of The Tanach Study Center In memory of Rabbi Abraham Leibtag Was Eisav really planning to wipe out Yaakov’s family with his four hundred men?  Or was his intention all along simply to welcome his brother back ‘home’? When reading Parshat Vayishlach, it is difficult to reach a clear conclusion. Similarly, when […]
Vayetzei: Yaakov’s Dream, Am Yisrael’s Future
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This shiur provided courtesy of The Tanach Study Center In memory of Rabbi Abraham Leibtag Is it acceptable for one to doubt a divine promise? Certainly, if God makes a promise, we’d expect Him to keep it! Why then does Yaakov Avinu vow to worship God only IF (and when) God fulfills His promise to return […]