Parshat Vayeishev 5773: Chanukah, Yosef, and the Contrast Between the Brothers vs Israeli Hellenists’ War of Polarization on Yiddishkeit

by Moshe Burt

With Chanukah 5773 coming in literally on the heels of Shabbos Vayeishev, we recall again a short article which appeared on the INN website entitled;”Mortar Shells Filled With Chanukah Light” (url for article no longer accessable) which told about the Menorah which Neve Dekalim residents made from some of the spent Islamic mortal shells which were launched on their Gush Katif town over the years.

Reading about this special Menorah which was lit at one of the Jerusalem hotels which temporarily housed many evicted Neve Dekalim residents, took this author back in time to Philadelphia, in “the “old country” and to a point made by Rav Yehoshua Kaganoff about the pit in which Yosef was thrown. The point bears repeating. [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Vayishlach 5773: Levado: In Our Generations — Individually, Nationally

by Moshe Burt

We learn at the end of Parsha Vayeitzei that Yaakov and his family were escorted by a group of Melachim to the border of Eretz Yisrael where a second group of melachim took over and escorted them inside Eretz Yisrael. Yaakov declared both groups to be Holy and named this border point Mahanaim for the two camps of Melachim.

It was about this second camp that our Parsha begins by informing that Yaakov sent Melachim (angels) — some render a translation of messengers:

“… ahead of him to Eisev to the land of Seir, to the field of Edom… Thus shall you say … to Eisev, so said your servant Yaakov: ‘Im-Lavan garti’ (I have sojourned with Lavan) …” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 32, posukim 4 & 5). [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Vayeitzei 5773: Discerning Kindness From Cunning, Compassion From Cruelty L’Shem Shemayim

by Moshe Burt

In writing on Parshiyot Chayei Sarah and Toldos, this author cited Rebbetzin Shira Smiles from her sefer “Torah Tapestries” in discussing the attributes of unconditional kindness and bringing unity possessed by Rivka Imeinu and how these attributes in her merited the resumption of the Lamp burning and the Blessed Dough from Shabbos to Shabbos in the tent of Sarah Imeinu, as well as the Cloud of Glory which resumed hovering over the tent continuously. Rebbetzin Smiles (“Torah Tapestries”, Parsha Toldos, pages 89-90) cites Rabbi Eliyahu Yedid’s explanation of Rivka Imeinu’s Test of overcoming her nature of kindness and fostering of unity, and the role it played in Yaakov Avinu’s receiving his father’s Brachot: [...]  Click here to read more.

Parshat Toldos 5773: “When You are Aggrieved” — If the Jews Stray from Torah and Hashem’s Ways?

by Moshe Burt

There are multiple lessons and discussions to come out of our Parshat Toldos: The Eisev paradigm of Kibud Av V’Eim (honoring one’s parents), how the childhood nurturing of Rivka Imeinu, in an atmosphere of wickedness, positioned and enabled her act l’Shem Shemayim so that the righteous child — Yaakov would receive the Brachot that Am Yisrael would descend from him and that the nations would serve his descendents, the contrast in personality between Yaakov and Eisev, Avraham Aveinu’s death and Eisev’s selling of his Birthright for some lentil soup, the deception of Yitzchak through the “tithing of salt and straw, the seeming deception through which Yaakov received the Brachot and more. [...]  Click here to read more.