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Rabbi's Weekly Message

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Perashat Vayehi 5778

Friday, December 29, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

Every Friday night Jewish parents around the world bless their children as Ya'akob Abinu proclaimed in this week's Perasha: "By you shall Israel bless saying, 'May God make you like Efrayim and like Menashe' ". Why is it that we bless our children to be specifically like Efrayim and Menashe? Wouldn't it be more fitting that we bless our children to be like our founding forefathers, Abraham, Yisshak and Ya'akob? ...

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Perashat Vayigash 5778

Friday, December 22, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

In this week's Perasha, Yosef reveals his identity to his brothers by saying, "Ani Yosef [I am Yosef]. Is my father still alive?" The Midrash comments on this passuk, "R. Elazar declared: Woe unto us on judgment day, woe unto us on the day of rebuke, for if Yosef could cause them to faint by saying, `I am your brother Yosef,' what will happen when Hashem arises to judge us. If a mere human could confound his brothers, how much more so will we be confounded when the Holy One, blessed be He, examines us" (Beresheet Raba 93:11). ...

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Perashat Mikess 5778

Friday, December 15, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

An interesting dispute between Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel about the order of lighting Hanukkah lights each night is cited in the Gemarah Shabbat. Bet Hillel is of the opinion that we light one candle the first night, and then we increase the number of candles nightly. Bet Shammai takes the opposing position that on the first night we light eight candles, and each night we decrease them one by one. What is the basis of their disagreement? To get to the heart of these views it is essential to understand the significance of...

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Perashat Vayesheb 5778

Friday, December 08, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

If we do not closely examine this week's Perasha, we could miss a very valuable lesson. The Torah tells us about Yehudah, who leaves his brothers, settles near an Adullamite and marries a local woman. This woman bears him three sons, Er, Onan and Shelah. Yehudah finds a wife for Er named Tamar. Er dies because of his sins, leaving Tamar a childless widow. He instructs his second son, Onan, to raise children in Er's name with Tamar, but he too dies because of his sins. Then Yehudah instructs Tamar to remain as a widow in her father's house until his third son Shelah is old enough to marry her and fulfill the levirate obligation. ...

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Perashat Vayishlah 5778

Friday, December 01, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

This week's perasha opens with the preparations of Ya'akob prior to meeting his brother and rival Esav. The Torah contrasts Esav, who advances with an army of 400 men, with Ya'akob, who prepared himself in three ways. As explained by Rashi, he sent big gifts to Esav through messengers along with pleasant words of reconciliation. Then he prayed from the depths of his heart, and lastly, readied himself for war. Ya'akob succeeds at defusing the tension...

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Perashat Vayesse 5778

Friday, November 24, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

In this week's perasha, Ya'akob travels to a place that, according to tradition, is Mount Moriah. While sleeping, he has a prophetic dream. The Pasuk Beresheet 28:12 describes the dream as follows. "And he dreamed, and behold! a ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward and behold, angels of God were ascending and descending it." What's the meaning of the angels climbing up and down, ...

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Perashat Toledot 5778

Friday, November 17, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

One of the great mysteries of Sefer Beresheet is how Esav, a son who was raised by Saddikim, Yisshak and Ribka, grows up to become so wicked? Contrast this to his twin brother, Yaakob, who epitomizes the holiness of Am Yisrael. Esav had great potential...

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Perashat Haye Sarah 5778

Friday, November 10, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Milelr

There are two incentives that bring about a decision to get married. There are those who get married because they wish to give, and there are those who get married because they wish to take. Whatever the reason, it will almost undoubtedly determine if the marriage will succeed. ...

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Perashat Vayera 5778

Friday, November 03, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

We tend to measure a missva according to how grand a deed it is. If it is an act such as performing hessed with thousands of people including residents of an entire city, we feel like we did a great deed. But when we do a small act, such as holding a door for someone, we give it little importance. From the actions of our forefathers, we see the opposite, that even very small actions are valued. ...

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Perashat Lekh Lekha 5778

Friday, October 27, 2017 Author: Rabbi Mimoun Miller

Our Perasha this week is Lekh Lekha, which means, "Go forth". In choosing to reveal Himself to Abraham Abinu at this juncture, Hashem is telling him, "do not accept the state that you are in as good enough. Rather, you are destined to become something greater and must leave behind what you know to do so." ...

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