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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...

Orchids and Dandelions

The Swedish refer to children who are highly sensitive to their environment, especially to the quality of parenting they receive, as Orkidebarn, Orchid Children. If neglected, Orchid Children promptly wither, but if nurtured, they flourish. An Orchid Child becomes “a flower of unusual delicacy and...

Thinking About The Eggs & Lentils

Why was Jacob cooking lentils? His father, Isaac, was in mourning, and we feed mourners eggs or lentils, perfectly round foods without an opening, or mouth, because a mourner cannot adequately express his pain. Sounds good, but, how does serving them this food help them?...

Toldeot: Heroes and Their Stories

“It is greater to serve the wise than to study with them,” teaches the Talmud. I often find myself sharing stories of my grandfather, father, uncle, and my Rebbi, with those willing to listen. The tales all offer the most unbelievable life lessons that touch...

Esau the Crybaby by Prof. Gerald August

When Jacob told his mother that Isaac would feel his arms and know he was not Esau, the deception would be discovered. His mother went to the closet in her home and took one of Esau’s garments, his “Armani” skins, and had Jacob wear it. But...

Spiritual Tools: Honoring Parents

  As an Expression of Loving Others: Compose a list of his/her best attributes.     Fulfilling the Commandment of Honor: What he/she has done for me. What have I learned from him/her? What has he/she taught me? What do I respect about him/her?     Gratitude: Tell him/her: “I learned this from you.” Tell him/her: You did this...

Changed By My Parents

I once met a famous rabbi who is known for his clarity and sensitivity. I had heard of him, read many of his writings, and had looked forward to developing a relationship with him as a teacher. I first wanted to know whether he met...

What Is The Reason? Honoring Parents

My father signs his letters to me with his actual name, and not Dad. May I respond by writing a letter addressed to him by his proper name? M.D. The Halachic issue is whether writing is considered the same as speaking. Both the Rambam and the...

The Most Powerful Person In The World

As with most young children, the most powerful person in the world in my five-year-old eyes, was my father zt”l. He could answer any question. I used to watch him help my sisters with their homework in, of course, Torah, but also physics and chemistry....

The Meeting Point – Answers

We have some difficult questions about Isaac and Rebecca’s parenting skills. (See Parenting – The Questions) The even more difficult question is why Isaac intended, if he actually did, to bless Esau and not Jacob. Rebecca already knew that hers were children destined to shake the...