Giving or Taking

An interesting thing happens as siblings choose which items to take from the home of a deceased parent; they are simultaneously giving and taking. When we say to another, “Here, take this Kiddush cup,” we are giving to each other, but there is an assumed...

The Blessing That Didn’t Work

The groom approaches the bride at the Badeken, and quotes Laban’s blessing to Rebecca, “Our sister, may you come to be thousands of thousands of myriads (Genesis 24:60).” Interestingly enough, the Ohr haChaim haKadosh teaches that Rebecca was barren (25:21) to prove that when she...

Becoming Pointers

I was walking toward the synagogue I was privileged to lead when I saw a distraught woman storm out and walk directly toward the church a block or so away. I couldn’t catch up to her before she entered the church, so I waited outside...

Biblical Personalities: Benjamin: Rabbeinu Bachya

“In the morning he consumes a foe.” (Genesis 49:27) Benjamin combined within him the two “Great” emanations of “Gedula and Gevurah.” This is why the Temple, the home of the Shechinah – Divine Presence – stood in Benjamin’s territory. The Shechinah is representative of all Ten Attributes.
Biblical Personalities: Naftali – Rabbeinu Bachya

“Naftali is a hind let loose.” (Genesis 49:21) The “hind let loose,” is an allusion to the concept of Tzaddik, the truly righteous. The word is reminiscent of a messenger, “shaliach,” – as in “shelucha” in the verse. “Ayelet” is an allusion to Kenesset Israel also known as Ayelet Hashachar.