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Rabbi's Weekly Message

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Perashat Vayesse

Friday, November 28, 2014 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

This week’s perasha starts with the journey of Yaakob Abinu, who must leave the safe environs of his parents’ home in Canaan in order to go to Haran, the country of his ancestors, to seek an appropriate wife. The Torah tells us that on the way to Haran, he needed to sleep over for the night and he had the famous dream of the ladder reaching from the earth to the heavens, with the Angels of G-d ascending and descending upon it. What was the significance of this dream, and why did it occur at this particular time during his life when he was on his way to the house of his uncle Laban? ...

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Perashat Toledot

Friday, November 21, 2014 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

In this week’s perasha, we are introduced for the very first time, to the conflict between Esav and Yaakob; something which spans the next two perashiot in the Torah – and an eternity in the history of man. We are told that the conflict begins in utero, continues with the selling of the birthright, the competition for their father’s blessing, the flight of Yaakob to Mesopotamia in order to avoid his brother’s wrath, the struggle with the angel said to be the representative of Esav, and finally, a face-to-face confrontation between Yaakob and Esav upon his return to Canaan. ...

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Perashat Haye Sarah

Friday, November 14, 2014 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

This week’s perasha opens with the detailed story of how Abraham Abinu negotiated a burial place for his beloved wife Sarah with the Hittites. The Midrash describes Ephron, the Hittite leader, as a person who was "nivhal l'hon" – a person who became confused when he saw the amount of money that Abraham Abinu was prepared to give for the burial site. Rabbi Y. Frand points out that something does not seem right with that description. When Abraham Abinu approached the Hittites and told them that he needed a burial plot, Ephron himself got up in front of everyone and graciously offered Abraham Abinu a burial plot at no charge whatsoever. He offered it as an outright present, saying in essence that it would be a privilege to be able to give Abraham Abinu the land. ...

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Perashat Vayera

Friday, November 07, 2014 Author: Rabbi Daniel Greenwald

In this week’s perasha we learn of the great missva of hakhnasat orehim - hospitality – from Abraham Abinu. The perasha opens with G-d’s revelation to Abraham which is interrupted by the presence of three persons who were in need of hospitality. Excusing himself from G-d’s presence, Abraham ran with enthusiasm to greet his guests offering them deluxe accomodations and a five-star meal, headed up with pat lehem, bread, the staff of life. The Midrash explains, that in stark contrast, Lot’s wife, who was heartless like the rest of the inhabitants of Sedom and did not want to offer hospitality to the guests who appeared on her doorstep, went to all her neighbors and asked them, 'Give me melah - salt, as we have guests.' Her intention was that the townspeople should become aware of the presence of these men and drive them from town. ...

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Perashat Lekh Lekha

Friday, October 31, 2014 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

Life is a journey. For some, the journey is long; for others, it is short. At times it is easy, and at times difficult. We start the journey against our will, and we finish it, most of the time, against our will. During our life’s journey, we encounter many smaller journeys, which ultimately help us reach our final destiny. Perashat Lekh Lekha relates to us one of the small journeys, although it had a major effect on all of us, of Abram, who became our Patriarch Abraham. Abraham, like all other humans, started his journey of life without being asked. He was born to a mother and father who were part of a society that worshipped innate objects like statues, monuments, the sun and the moon, and other celestial objects. As Abram grew older and began his own life’s journey of research and discovery, he realized that what his parents and their generation were doing was wrong and inappropriate. ...

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Perashat Noah

Friday, October 24, 2014 Author: Rabbi Elie Abadie

The French like to say, ”Après moi, le déluge”, meaning ”After me, the flood”. The usual use of this expression happens when a person does not care about what will take place after one leaves; ”There may be a flood after one leaves, who cares?”. It is certainly a selfish attitude that demostrates a lack of care about anyone else except oneself. The phrase is used by despots, as well as by leaders who do not care about their country, city, village, company or institution after they leave it. However, it is also used by private people in a careless attitude toward others. ...

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