Wednesday, December 13, 2017


The state of Israel and the United Nations have a long and tortured history in dealing one with the other. Some seventy years ago the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution that became the basis in international terms for the creation of Israel. The United Nations thereby became the godfather of the Jewish state.

YU TORAH Toronto Torah: Vayishlach 5778

Toronto Torah for Vayishlach 5778 includes articles on the parshah, the holiness of the Land of Israel, the Hermon resort, the nature of halachic rulings, and more.

OU TORAH Vayeishev 5778 By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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YU TORAH Vayeishev, Chanukah 5778 By Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik

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OU TORAH Man Plans, God Laughs By Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb

You thought your life would run smoothly, right? We all do. Then, something comes off, tragic or happy, which proves to us that life is not smooth at all, and probably is not supposed to be. Somehow, each of us has a personal script which envisions what our lives will be like in the near and even distant future. I remember a friend from college who had his life planned out. He knew who he was going to marry, what his career path would be, where he would live, and which friends would be loyal to him.

OU TORAH Improbable Endings and the Defeat of Despair Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

We live life looking forward but we understand it only looking back. As we live from day to day, our life can seem like a meaningless sequence of random events, a series of accidents and happenstances that have no shape or inner logic. A traffic jam makes us late for an important meeting. A stray remark we make offends someone in a way we never intended. By a hair’s-breadth we fail to get the job we so sought. Life as we experience it can sometimes feel like Joseph Heller’s definition of history: “a trashbag of random coincidences blown open in a wind.”

RAV KOOK ON Vayeishev Part 2: Tamar's Sacrifice

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the story of Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar took place after Judah was informed that the young widow had behaved loosely and was pregnant. Judah meted out a harsh punishment for her promiscuity: “Take her out and have her burned” (Gen. 38:24). Confronted with such a severe sentence, Tamar could have easily pointed an accusing finger at Judah. After all, it was Judah who had made her pregnant, not knowing the true identity of the “prostitute” he had met on the road to Timna. Incredibly, Tamar chose to be silent. Only as she was led out to be executed did Tamar remark enigmatically, “I am pregnant by the man who is the owner of these articles” (Gen. 38:25). When Judah heard that cryptic message, he immediately realized that her pregnancy was not the result of promiscuity, but a form of yibum (levirate marriage), which Tamar had only been able to consummate through deception. Why didn’t Tamar save her life by openly identifying her father-in-law — and judge — as the person responsible?