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The Whispers of the Cynic
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Cynicism is intellectual treason. – Norman Cousins How often does Torah present us with language which, on first glance, seems extraneous only to reveal its genius and wisdom upon deeper reflection? So it is at the beginning of Parashat Toldot when the Torah says, “And these are the offspring (toldot) of Isaac, son of Abraham. […]
Strength, Patience, and Hope
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When I was a young boy, I had two distinct images of a strong man. One was of Charles Atlas. Do you remember him? If you do, you are no longer a youngster. Pictures of Charles Atlas appeared on the rear cover of the comic books that I voraciously read as a child. His muscular […]
Inside Information
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The home life of Rivka and Yitzchak was complicated. This is not to say there was a lack of love, honor or respect; in fact, quite the opposite is the case. Theirs is the first relationship the Torah explicitly states was one of love[1]. Indeed, we might even say that theirs was love at first […]
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 […]
Was Jacob Right To Take Esau’s Blessing?
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Was Jacob right to take Esau’s blessing in disguise? Was he right to deceive his father and to take from his brother the blessing Isaac sought to give him? Was Rivka right in conceiving the plan in the first place and encouraging Jacob to carry it out? These are fundamental questions. What is at stake […]