Monday, December 29, 2014

[Aneinu] Tehillim Request

BS"D I received the email below from someone here in Yerushalayim, please daven and say tehillim for them for the next 24 hours, thank you very much. debby mayer With gratitude and praise to Hashem, I would like to let Klal Yisroel know that we have twin girls. Please Please daven for TINOKOS BAS MIRIAM DEVORAH. They were born early and one of my princesses is in VERY CRITICAL CONDITION. PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR AND PASS THIS ON BECAUSE THE NEXT 24 HOURS ARE CRITICAL. May we all share in Simchas!

[Aneinu] Please Daven for Injured Soldier

Urgent tehillim Very Urgent!! Please daven for the soldier injured this past summer who is in a difficult state, מרדכי חי בן ברכה יהודית (Mordechai Chai ben Bracha Yehudit) any one who sees this message please do a chesed and pass on "anyone who prays for a friend is answered first " With good news!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Desert Diary by Gadi Pollack IS AT KESHER STAM

GET IT NOW WHILE ITS ON SALE. Brought to life like never before, this authentic story of the journeys of the Jewish people in the Midbar is presented with eloquent prose and stunning visual detail. What begins as a child's diary of day-to-day life in Kadesh Barne'a continues with a young man's account of the wondrous miracles and challenging travails of the years in the Wilderness and ends with a mature man's anticipations as the Chosen Nation stood on the threshold of our promised land.The Desert Diarygives every reader the sense that he himself was among the Bnei Yisrael (fwho left Mitzrayim. For fans of the Katz Haggadah, this is a continuation of the experience!(From Feldheim)

The Zehlemer Rov, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Grunwald, zt"l His Life, Accomplishments and Legacy by Bezalel Kahn IS AT KESHER STAM

GET IT KNOW WHILE ITS ON SALE. Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Grunwald zt"l, the illustrious Zehlemer Rov, was rabbi, rosh yeshivah, mentor, community leader, and pioneer in the spiritual wilderness of post-war America. Revered for his Torah erudition, unsurpassed humility, and tremendous chesed - and known for his strict, uncompromising path in adherence to halachah and tradition - the Zehlemer Rov was likewise beloved for his pristine middos and peace-loving relationships with his fellow Jews. Written by a close talmid of over thirty years, this intimate, comprehensive biography opens a window into the illuminating world and pious deeds of this spiritual giant, replete with rare photos and genealogical information about the famous Grunwald family. Jewish life in Zehlem, Austria is vividly described along with the Rebbe's pioneering efforts on behalf of the fledgling American Jewish community - specifically in facilitating the availability of cholov Yisroel milk and glatt kosher meat. Also included are firsthand accounts of the Rebbe's blessed influence and yeshuos, as well as historical information about the Zehlemer Yeshivoh and its burgeoning chesed network with the Rebbe at its helm.(From Feldheim)

Living On Messages , Memories, and Miracles from the Har Nof Massacre IS AT KESHER STAM

GET IT NOW B/4 THE CHANUKA SALE ENDS. 6:57 am: 39 men daven at a neighborhood shul in Har Nof, Jerusalem 7:08 am: 4 of them lie murdered al Kiddush Hashem, following the massacre that rocked the Jewish world. This story shocked us all. This book keeps its flame alive in our hearts. In the aftermath of an inconceivable tragedy came an outpouring of unprecedented chesed, Jewish unity... and also burning questions: How? Why? What now? This book goes far beyond the sensationalist headlines and finds meaningful answers in the personal accounts of eyewitnesses and bereaved family members; in the incredible stories of life-saving miracles, sacrifice and love; and in the insights of the leading Rabbis of our generation, who illuminate the darkness with essential lessons for our time. All proceeds from this book go to the victims' families.(From Feldheim)

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5775 Issue X Parshas Miketz The Aftermath of Eric Gardner's Chokehold Death Are Police Above the Law? by Rabbi Micha Cohn

PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid The death of Eric Gardner, resulting from a police officer’s chokehold, has raised much public concern over the use of excessive force by police. Unlike the case in Fergusson Missouri, this case was not about killing for self-defense. It was about the use of excessive force by police that unintentionally caused death. In this article we will examine if law enforcement officials have a dispensation for unintentionally causing death, and what the parameters are.

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5775 Issue X Parshas Miketz Chanukah Candles for a Person with a Fear of Fire Performing Mitzvos Under Duress by Rabbi Micha Cohn

PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid An elderly woman lives alone. Years before, she had a fire in her home, and is still afraid of open fire. She always goes away for Shabbos to avoid lighting Shabbos candles at home. How about Chanukah? What are her obligations with regard to lighting Chanukah candles?

Living the Chassidic Legacy Parshat Mikeitz:The Secret of Exile Survival By Rabbi Hershel Reichman


NAALEH.COM Parshat Miketz & Chanukah 5771: Inspired Introspection By: Mrs. Shira Smiles

PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid In this Torah shiur (class) on Parshat Miketz, Mrs. Shira Smiles connects the episode of the brothers in Egypt with Yosef, with the topic of Chanukah. This Torah class is available online in streaming video and for download in mp3 and ipod video formats.




PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid The astounding and amazing story of Yosef continues in this week's parsha. Through a series of inexplicable events, Yosef finds himself raised from being a kidnapped victim and slave who was thrust into prison and doomed to oblivion, to becoming the chief minister of the Pharaoh and the Egyptian Empire. Yosef takes all of this in stride and certainly sees it as being part of a series of events that had to happen since they were divinely ordained and predicted to him in his youthful dreams.


PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, the noted educator, author and Talmudist recently wrote a lengthy article in one of the religiously oriented newspapers here in Israel about the problems of curriculum as it currently exists in Israeli Orthodox Jewish schools - and worldwide. He decried what he considered to be the over-emphasis and even exclusivity of the study of Talmud, to the exception of all other areas of Torah scholarship, that exist in our schools.

OU TORAH Appearance and Reality(Parshas Mieketz 5775) By Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid Finally after twenty-two years and many twists and turns, Joseph and his brothers meet. We sense the drama of the moment. The last time they had been together, the brothers planned to kill Joseph and eventually sold him as a slave. One of the reasons they did so is that they were angry at his reports about his dreams. He twice dreamed that his brothers would bow down to him. To them that sounded like hubris, excessive confidence and conceit.

CHABAD.ORG Disguise(Parshas Miketz) By Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid Joseph is now the ruler of Egypt. The famine he predicted has come to pass. It extends beyond Egypt to the land of Canaan. Seeking to buy food, Joseph’s brothers make the journey to Egypt. They arrive at the palace of the man in charge of grain distribution:

RAV KOOK ON Mikeitz Part 2: Joseph and the Evil Eye

PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid Rabbi Yochanan, the third century scholar, had an unusual custom. He would sometimes sit down outside the town mikveh (ritual bath). This way, he explained, the Jewish women will see me as they leave the bath and will have children as beautiful as me. Rabbi Yochanan's colleagues asked him: Are you not afraid of the Evil Eye?

RAV KOOK ON Miketz Part 1: Joseph and Judah (II)

PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid The strife among Jacob's sons centered on two conflicting viewpoints vis a vis the sanctity of the Jewish people. Judah felt that we need to act according to the current reality and that, given the present situation, the Jewish people need to maintain a separate existence from other nations in order to safeguard their unique heritage. Joseph, on the other hand, believed that we should focus on the final goal. We need to take into account the hidden potential of the future era, when "nations will walk by your light" (Isaiah 60:3). Thus, according to Joseph, even nowadays we are responsible for the spiritual elevation of all peoples. So which outlook is correct — Judah's pragmatic nationalism or Joseph's visionary universalism?

RAV KOOK ON Chanukah: Flickering Lights in Dark Times

PLEASE LEARN THIS L"N MY BOBIE ESTHER BAS Yichiel Dovid Suitable Wicks and Oils The Mishnah (Shabbat, chapter two) discusses which wicks and oils are suitable for Sabbath lights. Certain materials may not be used for wicks since they make 'the flame sputter' and fail to burn evenly; and certain oils may not be used because 'they do not flow freely to the wick.' With regard to Chanukah, however, the Talmud (Shabbat 21b) rules that these restrictions do not apply. Even wicks and oil that do not burn smoothly may be used for Chanukah lights. Why are all oils permitted for use on Chanukah, even when lit on Friday evening? Why this distinction between Sabbath and Chanukah lights?

OU TORAH 19 LETTERS Letter #9 – Exile By Daniel Adler


Thursday, December 25, 2014


aneinu ANOTHER TERRORIST ATTACK PLEASE DAVEN FOR AYALA BAT RUT. Avner Shapira and his 11 year old daughter Ayala were attacked by Arab terrorists who threw a firebomb at his vehicle Thursday night. The two suffered burns, but managed to escape from their burning vehicle. Professor Eyal Winkler, head of the Plastic Surgery Department at Sheba Medical Center, said tonight that there is concern as to the prognosis of Ayala Shapira, and concern for her survival at this point. The 11-year-old was critically injured tonight after Arab terrorists firebombed her car as she rode in it with her father. "At the moment, we are performing CPR on her. She has sustained severe injuries to both her neck and limbs. Teams of plastic surgeons are tending to her, as she is suffering from third-degree burns. Smoke inhalation has resulted in damage to the lungs and respiratory system, and there is obstruction to the airways." PLEASE DAVEN FOR THE REFUAH SHELAIMA OF AYELET BAT RUT UPDATE ON VICTIMS OF PAST TERROIRST ATTACKS HA NOF VICTIMS: RABBI CHAIM YEHCHIEL BEN MALKA HAS OF YET NOT WOKEN UP. EITAN BEN SORO JUST LEFT THE ICU UNIT BUT HE IS STILL BEING HOSPITALIZED. SHMUEL YEURACHM BEN BAILA WILL BE UNDERGOING ANOTHER SURGERY IN 5 WEEKS. FROM OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE: YEHUDA YITZCHAK HAYISRAELI FROM OFRA WAS GRAVELY INJURED BY SHRAPNEL TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF HIS BRAIN AND HAS BEEN ONLY MIMINALLY CONSCIOUS SINE THEN. THIS PAST TUESDAY HE UNDERWENT MAJOR SURGERY TO REPLACE PART OF HIS SKULL. PLEASE DAVEN FOR THE REFUAH SHELAIMA OF YEHUDA YITZCHAK BEN IRIS.

CCTC [Aneinu] Levaya Information

The levaya for Mrs. Esther Chroman, mother of Mr. Barry Chroman, Mrs. Rhonda Mashiach, Mrs. Jeannie Alexander, and Mr. Herschel Chroman will be tomorrow, Friday at 11:30 at Waldheim Cemetery, gate 9. Hamakom yenachem eschem b'soch sha'ar aveilei Tzion v'Yerushalayim.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

COLLIVE.COM A.K.A. Pella Goes on Mivtzoim

The A.K.A. Pella group filmed a music video visiting 770 Eastern Parkway and going on Mivtzoim to help light Menorah candles.The Jewish acapella group A.K.A. Pella has released a new music video titled "The Jew Who Can't be Moved" surrounding the Mivtzoim outreach Chabad does during the holiday of Chanukah. They described it as follows: It is a Chanukah song about the perseverance of the Jew, despite the external and internal challenges he may face. Though the culture around us may at times tempt us away from our path, and at times threaten our very existence, we stand strong with the knowledge that our way is true, and our Creator is always looking out for us. This inspiring and fun video (filmed and edited on Chanukah!) depicts a Jew (A.K.A. Pella's Shmuel Braun) who continues to try and spread light, despite being turned down repeatedly. Eventually he succeeds in convincing a Yid to partake in the mitzvah of menorah, at which point 3 more A.K.A. Pella members (Yonah Laster, Shuie Alter) join in the celebration, bringing others along for some dancing and good cheer.


A Brief Introduction to Psalms By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz SO JOIN US FOR 150 DAYS FOR GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF TEHILLIM FEATURING Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb Rabbi Eric Levy Rabbi Chaim Brovender AND Rabbi Bini Maryles FOR THE START OF TEHILLIM TOMMOROW I ALSO RECOMMEND BUYING A NEW HIRSCH TEHILLIM.

OU TORAH B’inyonei Hadlakas Neiros Chanukah By Rabbi Yaakov Moishe Shurkin


[Aneinu] Fwd: Missing Jewish Girl Feared Kidnapped – Please Pray

Please daven for Michaela bat Nurit. Learn and Return (formerly Learn and Live), an organization that works to prevent Jewish girls from getting trapped in abusive relationships with Arabs, has issued call to the public to pray for the safe return of a 22-year-old girl whose whereabouts are unknown. The phenomenon of Arab men entrapping Jewish girls in abusive relationships has escalated in recent years, the group says. Israel’s hotlines receive over 1,000 requests a year from girls trapped in Arab villages. A 2012 Knesset report stated that close to 1,000 girls were “voluntarily missing”, meaning they went willingly at first before finding themselves trapped and unable to escape abusive relationships with Arab men. Michaela, a resident of Ofakim, southern Israel, became involved with an Arab in 2013. Typically, the relationship begins with the Arab predator – often disguised as a Jew – showering the girl with gifts and attention. The relationship then turns to abuse as the predator threatens the girl and her family if she tries to break off with him. Learn and Return provides counseling, job assistance, and a shelter to help girls end the relationship and rebuild their lives. Learn and Return’s counselors had been in ongoing contact with Michaela, who called for help. A rescue date was set but Michaela suddenly didn't answer her phone. She failed to contact the rescue worker as planned and has not answered her cell phone for almost a week. Rescue workers fear that she has been taken to an Arab village against her will. The public is asked to pray for the safe return of Michaela bat Nurit.

[Aneinu] Please Davn for Injured Soldier

While fighting in Aza during Tzuk Eitan, Yehuda Yitzhak Hayisraeli from Ofra was very gravely injured by shrapnel to the right side of his brain and has been only minimally conscious since then. After several setbacks, he will be undergoing a crucial oper at ion tomorrow (Tuesday, 1 Tevet) to replace part of his skull. His family is asking everyone possible to please daven for the success of the oper at ion and for a refuah shleimah for their son and husband. Yehuda Yitzhak is the father of two young children, a two-year-old girl and a four-month-old boy who was born shortly after he was wounded (the son's brit was held by his hospital bed). His name for tefillot is Yehuda Yitzhak ben Iris. Please keep him in your davening tomorrow and for the next few weeks.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Aneinu Please Daven

Please continue to daven for Chicagoan, and sister of an Aneinu member, Chaya Malka bas Yosepha who is gravely ill.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

OU TORAH Yehoshua Review By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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OU TORAH Yehoshua 24 By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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OU TORAH Yehoshua 23 By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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OU TORAH Yehoshua 22 By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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OU TORAH Yehoshua 21 By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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OU TORAH Yehoshua 20 By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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OU TORAH Yehoshua 19 By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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NAALEH.COM and YU TORAH The Fifth Light By: Mrs. Shira Smiles

Every night of Chanukah brings with it a special glow imparted not only by the candles we light but also by the inherent beauty and significance unique to each night. For example, each night can be symbolically paired with one of the garments of the High Priest, for both the days of Chanukah and these vestments consist of eight. We will focus on the fifth night of Chanukah, the night when the light begins to overpower the darkness, and shed some of the Chanukah light on the deeper significance of this day. Click here for Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5775 Issue IX Parshas Vayeishev Child Custody in Halacha The Truth about Child Custody By Rabbi Yitzchok Grossman

The concept of ganav and gazlan, are the two categories of thief in Halacha. A ganav steals stealthily, in the black of night, avoiding human exposure. A gazlan steals in broad daylight, fearless of Hashem or human beings. Based on the above, Rav Betzalel Ashkenazi (Shu”t Siman 39) was asked why kidnapping is referred to by the Torah as geneivas nefesh “stealing a soul”. How can the Torah refer to a kidnapper as a ganav and not a gazlan? Surely, the victim is aware that he is being kidnapped! Rav Ashkenazi answers that indeed, a kidnapper is not a ganav in terms of the victim. He is a ganav from the victim’s family. From here we see that in a sense, a father, brother, and other relatives are considered to be one’s ‘owner’. Kidnapping, then, is essentially stealing from the ‘owners’ without their knowledge.

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5775 Issue IX Parshas Vayeishev Health Screening and Genetic Testing Vs. Bitachon- Part One A Bottom Line Approach to a Sensitive Issue By Rabbi Micha Cohn

How do halachic sources view preventative measures such as health screenings or genetic testing? Are they included in our obligation to heal, or rather a form of speculation that the Torah instructs us not to concern ourselves with?

NAALEH.COM and YU TORAH Vine Vignette By: Mrs. Shira Smiles

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a dream worth? Parshat Vayeshev and the subsequent Parsha, Miketz are replete with dreams, first by Yosef and then by various Egyptians. We will focus today on the dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker and the interpretation that Yosef gave to each. Click here for Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.

YU TORAH Vayeshev 5775: The Heroism of Tamar By Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

This is a true story that took place in the 1970s. Rabbi Dr Nahum Rabinovitch, then Principal of Jews College, the rabbinic training seminary in London where I was a student and teacher, was approached by an organisation that had been given an unusual opportunity to engage in interfaith dialogue. A group of African bishops wanted to understand more about Judaism. Would the Principal be willing to send his senior students to engage in such a dialogue, in a chateau in Switzerland? The Refusal to be Comforted (Vayeshev) By Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

The deception has taken place. Joseph has been sold into slavery. His brothers have dipped his coat in blood. They bring it back to their father, saying: “Look what we have found. Do you recognize it? Is this your son’s robe or not?” Jacob recognized it and replied, “It is my son’s robe. A wild beast has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces.” We then read: Jacob rent his clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned his son for a long time. His sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “I will go down to the grave mourning for my son.”1 Why did Jacob refuse to be comforted?


Yaakov and Yosef, the two main protagonists of the narrative in this final section of the book of Bereshith, are both blindsided by the events that befall them. After years of exile and turmoil, incessant danger and inherent loneliness, Yaakov attempts to settle down to an apparent tranquil retirement. He is not looking for new worlds to conquer, nor is he intending to be active or aggressive in further building and expanding his nascent national entity, the people of Israel. Yet all of his hopes will be dashed by the events surrounding the enmity of the brothers to Yaakov’s visibly favorite son, Yosef.


One of the most clichéd and oft-used words that mark election campaigns, such as the one we are now beginning to undergo here in Israel, is “change.” One of the basic human drives is to achieve change for the better in one's personal life and in the national life of the country where one resides.

RAV KOOK ON Vayeshev Part 2: The Reality of Dreams

Joseph, the ambitious protagonist of the final four readings of Genesis, was the "master of dreams." In addition to his own two dreams of future greatness, Joseph was called upon to interpret four more dreams: the dreams of the royal baker and steward, and Pharaoh's double dream about the seven-year famine.

RAV KOOK ON Vayeishev Part 1: The Conflict between Joseph and Judah

Having overcome the difficult challenges posed by Esau and Laban, Jacob looked forward to more peaceful times. But intense resentment among his sons shattered these wishful hopes, and led to the sale of his favorite son, Joseph, as a slave in Egypt. How could the brothers sell Joseph, and even consider killing him? Is it possible that they were motivated by petty jealousy over a colorful coat?

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5775 Issue VIII Parshas Vayishlach Is Name Changing- Game Changing? Overcoming Illness and a New Name By Rabbi Yehonassan Sasportas

In this week's parsha the Torah relates the story of how Yaakov fought with the malach, angel. At the end of that episode the malach blessed Yaakov, telling him that Hashem would later change his name to Yisroel. Yaakov was the second of the Avos to have his name changed. It is interesting to note, however, that there is a distinct difference between Avrohom’s original name and Yaakov’s. The Gemara in Meseches Brachos teaches that anyone who calls Avrohom by his original name violates a positive commandment. Yaakov, on the other hand, continues to be called by both of his names throughout the Torah, Neviim, and Chazal. There are a number of explanations for this anomaly. The sefer Shaar Bas Rabim, in parshas vayigash, explains that this is because Avrohom’s original name was given to him by his father Terach. Once Hashem Himself renamed him, however, his original name no longer had any significance. Yaaakov, on the other hand, was given both of his names by Hashem (see Rashi in parshas toldos) and therefore both of his names will always have significance.

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5775 Issue VIII Parshas Vayishlach The Ferguson Shooting Verdict Lethal Force for Self Defense in Halacha By Rabbi Micha Cohn

he recent grand jury verdict about the tragic shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Wilson has taken the national spotlight. According to the grand jury, Brown, unarmed, made a ‘full charge’ at Wilson and tried to take his gun. Wilson, could not get to his mace and shot Brown dead in self-defense. In this article we will present some of the Halachic concepts to consider when deciding if lethal force may be justified.

NAALEH.COM and YU TORAH Parshas Vayishlach 5775 Edom's Enigma By: Mrs. Shira Smiles

Names, names, and more names. What’s in a name? Perhaps nothing, at least in secular society where a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But in Jewish tradition, names carry within them tremendous meaning. So, while we often gloss over those verses in Torah that trace genealogy and seem to be merely lists of names, these verses contain hidden secrets of the Torah that only our highly learned and holy sages are privy to. This is the case with the last passages in Parshat Vayishlach where the Torah lists the princes and kings descended from Esau for eight generations, before a king reined over Israel, along with the cities over which they ruled. These verses contain 300 halachot, Jewish laws that the great Tana Rabbi Yochana Ben Zakai revealed only to his two top disciples, writes Rabbi Dov Yoffo in Leovdecha B’emet. Click here for Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.

OU TORAH The Parable of the Tribes Vayishlach 5775 By Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

From beginning to end, Genesis 34 tells a terrifying story. Dina, Jacob’s daughter – the only Jewish daughter mentioned in the entire patriarchal narratives – leaves the safety of home to go out to “look at the daughters of the land.” She is raped and abducted by a local prince, Shechem, son of the king of the town known as Shechem.


One of the basic questions raised by the commentators to the Torah as well as by all of Jewish history is determining the true relationship of Jacob and Esau. Is Esau the implacable enemy of Jacob and so has he remained throughout human history? Or, is he only the wayward brother of Jacob who is capable of reconciliation and cooperation in building a better and more just society?


The Lord blessed me last week with the birth of a great-grandson. As I began writing this article I almost slipped and wrote “another” great-grandson. I have been blessed many times over with becoming a great-grandfather. But I caught myself and did not write “another” great-grandchild because the birth of every great-grandchild is unique and special. I come from a generation where I and my peers barely knew grandparents and no one ever imagined seeing a great- grandparent.

RAV KOOK ON VaYishlach Part 2: The Prohibition of Gid Ha-Nasheh

Jacob was limping, but he had survived the nighttime struggle at Penuel. Nervously awaiting a confrontation with his estranged brother Esau, Jacob was attacked by a mysterious opponent. With the approach of dawn, the stranger dislocated Jacob's thigh. "Therefore the Israelites do not eat the displaced nerve ("gid ha-nasheh") on the hip joint to this very day, because he touched Jacob's thigh on the displaced nerve." (Gen. 32:33) What is the significance of this prohibition? Do we refrain from eating the sciatic nerve only to commemorate a mysterious wrestling match that took place thousands of years ago?

RAV KOOK ON VaYishlach Part 1: Reliance on Miracles

Miracles were no novelty for Rabbi Zeira. The Talmud in Baba Metzia 85a elates that the third-century scholar fasted for a hundred days in order to protect himself from the fires of hell. But Rabbi Zeira was not content with theoretical preparations. Once a month he would test himself by itting down in a burning furnace, to see if he would feel the heat. He didn't. (Once his clothes were singed, but that story is for another time.) Yet, on very windy days, Rabbi Zeira was careful not to walk among the palm-trees, lest a strong wind should knock a tree over. His caution in orchards seems bizarre. Why should a man who can sit unharmed in a burning furnace be concerned about the possibility of a falling tree?


Shoshana bas Rita