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I Have Yichus (Yo Tengo Yichus)
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“And Yitzchak prayed intensely opposite his wife because she was barren. And HASHEM listened to him, and Rivka became pregnant.” — Bereishis 25:21 HASHEM answered Yitzchak’s prayers and not Rivka’s The Imahos were all barren. Not simply incapable of having children, they lacked the very organs to necessary to conceive. Knowing this, Yitzchak and Rivka […]
The Cynic No Longer Whispers
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Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.  – Stephen Colbert Cynicism is a posture and language that is both weapon and shield – […]
Toldot: Different Forms of Power
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The professor was wrong. But in his field of expertise he was always right. His name was Dr. Dennis Wrong, and his surname made him the object of much teasing, at least during his childhood. He was a prominent sociologist, and I took a course from him while still in graduate school. The course was […]
Manifest Mockery
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Shiur provided courtesy of Naaleh.com. Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein   Parshat Toldos begins with what appears to be a superfluous phrase. The unusually wordy verse says, “These are the offspring of Isaac son of Avraham –  Avraham begot Isaac.” Certainly, if Isaac is the son of Avraham, Avraham begot Isaac. Why does the Torah […]
Embryonic Experience
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PARSHAT TOLDOT Shira Smiles shiur 2015/5776 Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein             With Parshat Toldot the Torah begins tracing the offspring of Avraham Avinu that will eventually give rise to Bnei Yisroel. However, Rivka is concerned about her pregnancy, for she feels strange “runnings” within her. She goes to the Beit Medrash of Shem and […]
Toldos
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ויעתר לו ה’ (כה:כא) שאין דומה תפלת צדיק בן רשע לתפלת צדיק בן צדיק (רש”י שם) Everybody asks the question, why is the teffilah of a tzadik ben tzadik greater?  We would have thought that the tzadik ben rasha should have a greater teffilah since Chazal say that even perfect tzaddikim are unable to stand […]
A Father’s Love
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“The boys grew up. Esau became a skilful hunter, a man of the outdoors; but Jacob was a mild man who stayed at home among the tents.  Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Gen. 25:27-28). We have no difficulty understanding why Rebekah loved Jacob. She had received an oracle […]