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Vayetze: Jacob’s Lifeline

November 23, 2020 – 9:22 pm | 29 views

Have you ever gone out for drinks with colleagues and felt like a fish out of water? Suppose you are on a business trip with serious-minded professionals, but then over drinks, their professional exterior fades, and the talk turns vulgar. Your collegiality with these people is based on your common …

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Toldot: Esau’s Garments

November 14, 2020 – 7:38 pm |
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You know the story. Rebecca instructed Jacob to disguise himself as Esau by dressing in Esau’s garments (which were furry and made him appear hairy like Esau), present himself to his father, provide him with delicious wine and meat, and ask for the blessings that his father intended for Esau. Isaac, his father, sensed that the garments carried a fragrance from Paradise, and observed, “My son’s fragrance is like that of a Divinely blessed field.” And proceeded to bless Jacob.

This story is fraught with difficulty. (A) why did Rebecca disguise Jacob in Esau’s garments, did she not own a furry garment? (B) Why did the wicked Esau’s garments have a paradise fragrance? (C) Why did Jacob lie to his father and misrepresent himself as Esau? Read the full story »

The Passing of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

November 12, 2020 – 6:18 pm |
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The world has lost a great leader with the passing of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Who will be his successor?
There will be millions beginning with me and you.
This Shabbat, the family of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth, will complete their week of mourning for Rabbi Sacks …

Chayei Sarah: Personal Agenda

November 7, 2020 – 9:19 pm |
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Did you ever do a favor for another while harboring a personal agenda? If yes, would you ever admit it?
Abraham sent his servant Eliezer to Mesopotamia to seek a bride for Isaac among his relatives. Eliezer asked what to do if perchance the bride refused to return with him to …

Vayera: A Person of Destiny

October 31, 2020 – 8:26 pm |
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Sodom would soon be aflame, and Lot and his family were being shepherded from the city. It was not his destiny to die that night. It was his destiny to live. But why?  Lot thought it was on account of his good deeds, but that wasn’t the case. It was …

Lech Lecha: The Secret Life of King Og

October 27, 2020 – 8:42 pm |
Og-innerstream.ca

When our ancestors sought to cross the Jordan into Israel, the fierce and powerful Bashanites, led by their mighty king Og, stood in their way to prevent their passage. Moses was initially fearful of Og until G-d said, “Don’t fear Og because I have delivered him and his land to …

Noach: Make A Name

October 17, 2020 – 11:34 pm |
make-a-name-innerstream.ca

“Let us make a name for ourselves,” was the motto of the building campaign for the tower of Babel. It was several hundred years after the great biblical flood had laid waste to humanity and the people wanted something grandiose to celebrate. The ten survivors that had emerged from the …

Bereshit: Beginning with Genesis

October 15, 2020 – 11:12 am |
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The Torah begins with the Genesis of history—the creation of the world. The Torah is not a history book. It is a manual for life —the world Torah means instruction. When we see a historical nugget in the Torah, we must ask why it was included, what instruction for life …

Simchat Torah: Why We Rejoice

October 7, 2020 – 2:41 pm |
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On Simchat Torah, we rejoice and dance endless horas around the bimah. Why do we rejoice and why do we dance the hora in particular?
The obvious answer is that we rejoice because we read the concluding chapter of the Torah on this day. Concluding a book of the Torah is …

Sukkot: The Holiday of Clouds

September 30, 2020 – 10:42 pm |
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The Sukkah, the outdoor hut in which we eat during the holiday of Sukkot, represents the canopy of clouds that surrounded our ancestors as they journeyed across the desert from Egypt to Israel.[1] Many have wondered why we celebrate Sukkot in the Fall if our ancestors embarked on their journey …