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April 21, 2018 – 11:08 pm | 28 views

We are all familiar with chai, the Hebrew word for life. Chai has a numeric value of eighteen, which is why it is common for Jews to donate to charity in multiples of eighteen. The Talmud tells us that charity saves us from premature death.[1] When we donate in multiples …

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Vayechi: Rejoice for Others

December 23, 2017 – 10:37 pm |
rejoice-for-others-innerstream.ca

To rejoice for others, when they receive the something that you coveted, is difficult. To rejoice for others despite personal disappointment, or loss, displays character, humility, and refinement. It is rare, but every parent hopes to see such virtue in their child.
As the sun sets on Friday and the weekday …

Vayigash: Our Parents

December 18, 2017 – 11:52 pm |
our-parents-innerstream.ca

Do our parents have access to our lives? Do we share our secrets with them? Do they have unfettered access to our grandchildren, for example, do we let them take our children away on vacation?
Sadly, there are many people who grow up and shut their parents out. Some do it …

Chanukah: The True Heroes

December 9, 2017 – 11:09 pm |
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The Women
The miracle of Chanukah has true heroes, and though we usually think of the Maccabees and the priests who kindled the miraculous lamps in the Temple, Chanukah’s true heroes are the women and children.
The Talmud tells us that although positive commandments bound by particular times, are usually non-binding on …

Vayeshev: Prosperity

December 2, 2017 – 11:20 pm |
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After Jacob returned from Haran, where he contended with the avarice and deceit of his uncle Laban, he was forced to face his long-standing nemesis and brother Esau. Once that was done, Jacob sought to settle down and raise his family in relative peace and comfort. He hoped to enjoy …

Vayishlach: Family Feud

November 26, 2017 – 1:02 am |
familyfeud-innerstream.ca

The worst kind of feud is a family feud. When we feel betrayed by those we love, the pain runs deep, and it is difficult to forgive. Some people won’t attend their grand nephew’s wedding because of a family feud from decades back. Deep pain tends to be lasting and …

Vayetze: Fusing Stones

November 18, 2017 – 8:20 pm |
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Jacob went to bed on a mountain and placed his head on twelve stones. In the morning, when he awoke, the twelve stones had fused into one. Our sages taught that during the night the angels in charge of these stones began to argue because each wanted to serve as …

Toldot: Hunting is not a Jewish Sport

November 12, 2017 – 8:17 am |
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Although hunting is not as common as it used to be, it remains a popular sport around the world. This essay explores why hunting has never been considered a Jewish sport.
Hunting
A Jew once asked Rabbi Yechezkel Landau, the 18th century chief rabbi of Cracow, whether hunting is permissible. Rabbi Landau …

Chayei Sarah: Why We Bury

November 4, 2017 – 10:34 pm | One Comment | 
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After the binding of Isaac, Abraham discovered that his wife Sarah had passed, and he hurried from Jerusalem to Hebron to eulogise, mourn and bury her.  This is the first description of a burial in the Torah, which gives us an opportunity to discuss the question of why we bury.
Many …