Parashas Vayetze (Torah Insights from the Orthodox Union)
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Parashas Vayetze (Torah Insights from the Orthodox Union)

Parshas Vayetze spans the twenty years spent by Yaakov Aveinu – the quintessential ish tam, man of integrity – in the inhospitable company of his sinister uncle, Lavan, a master of manipulation, deceit and double talk. From his initial embrace of Yaakov, which, Rashi notes, is actually a search for concealed valuables, Lavan is bent…

Parshas Toldos

Parshas Toldos

The Torah’s statement in Parshas Toldos that “Yitzchak prayed across from (lenochach) his wife” raises several questions. Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrachi asks: How could Yitzchak pray in front of Rivka? He would seem to be praying not to G-d but to his wife. The Maharal of Prague raises the issue of his being distracted by his…

Parshas Chaya Sarah

Parshas Chaya Sarah

Toward the end of Parshas Chaya Sarah, the Torah tells us that “Yitzchak went out lasuach -tomeditate – in the field before evening.” Chazal comment that Yitzchak went to the fields in order to pray (“Sichah,” our Sages say, “refers only to prayer”), and thus was instituted Tefillas Mincha, the afternoon prayer that all Jews…

Parashas Vayera

Parashas Vayera

In this parsha, G-d determines that the city of Sodom must be destroyed. But first G-d decides to inform Avraham of His decision. Why does G-d need to tell this to Avraham? Why does He, soto speak, “clear it” first with Avraham? Rashi, quoting the Midrash Tanchumah, explainsG-d’s reasoning: “I called Avraham ‘Av hamon goyim…

Parashas Lech Lecha (Torah Tidbits from the Orthodox Union)

Parashas Lech Lecha (Torah Tidbits from the Orthodox Union)

Parshas Lech Lecha (and Vayeira and part of Chaya Sarah) is not JUST an inside look atAvraham Avinu’s diary. We are not supposed to read what happened in his life, and that’sit. There is an interesting 14-year gap in Avraham’s life recorded in next week’s sedra. TheTorah tells us that Avraham was 86 years old…

Parashas Noach

Parashas Noach

The deluge that destroyed the world in the time of Noach caused a major upheaval in the physical makeup of the world. The geological and archeological evidence of these changes has baffled many a scientist, so much so that even skeptical scientists argue that some fossilized discoveries may be attributed to the Flood. Not only…

Parshas Vavishlach – Rabbi Dr. S. Zevulun Lieberman

Parshas Vavishlach – Rabbi Dr. S. Zevulun Lieberman

More than any other Patriarch, Yaakov Avinu is blessed with detailed coverage of his life in theTorah From his prenatal condition, through his adolescence and into young manhood, he isforced to struggle with his contentious brother Eisav. He survives by his wit. Heeding hismother’s counsel, Yaakov contends for Yitzchak’s blessing, an act that brings forth…

Parsha Nitzavim – Rabbi Benjamin Yudin 

Parsha Nitzavim – Rabbi Benjamin Yudin 

Parsha Nitzavim  “Ezra legislated that the curses enumerated in Parshas Ki Savo be read prior to Rosh Hashana so that the year may end along with its curses,” the Talmud teaches. Nonetheless, Tosafot adds, we read Parshas Nitzavim on the Shabbos immediately preceding Rosh Hashana to serve as a buffer, so that we do not…