Imagine living under the tutelage of a master teacher, preparing for your profession. You are perhaps unsure that you are suited for the job, but with enough coaching, you gain the confidence needed to be the leader that those around you assure you that you are. You gain a following. You put aside the humility that you once had, and you assume leadership and convince thousands of people that you will lead them to a brighter future. You conduct your own campaign, going door to door to talk to the people about the future.
Jacob called his children, ‘Assemble yourselves and hear, O children of Jacob, and listen to Israel, your father’ (Genesis 49:2). It is interesting that the children of Jacob are asked to gather and listen. They come together in order to listen to Israel and not Jacob. Why are both names used for our patriarch in […]
Why does Jacob hold on so tenaciously to the angel (Genesis 32:27)? Where once he held his brother’s heel for a free ride from the womb to the world, now he grasps the angel and demands a blessing. One lesson we draw from this is not to rely on miracles. The Talmud tells us, “One […]
Abraham sends his servant, Eliezer, to find a wife for his son Isaac. He is to choose a woman of good character. How does he determine that Rebecca is the one? The Midrash helps us understand the character that was revealed to Abraham’s servant:
This week’s portion points to an important Jewish institutional value, “Welcoming the Stranger.” Abraham, in a new home, not even settled, invites three strangers in and provides a wonderful meal for them. Hospitality is not only a physical reality, but a spiritual one as well. Rabbi Freehof, may his memory be for a blessing, said […]