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The Character in the Storm Part Two

We left off in “The Character in the Storm” with Rachel, having incorporated Jacob’s lessons (“Strength from Brokenness“) in her relationship with Leah, but wondering whether Leah understood Rachel’s message. I wonder whether Jacob was prepared for the storm that awaited him upon his return...

A View of a Place

The second I enter the room that was, originally, my grandfather zt”l’s, and then my father zt”l’s, study, I am overwhelmed. It is not the number of Sefarim that daunts me, but the level of learning and achievement that took place in that room. It...

The Attached Cover

I was surprised to find another hint toward the etymology of Tefillah in this past week’s portion. “Any open vessel that has no attached cover – Tzamid Patil – is contaminated.” (Numbers 19:16) Patil shares the same root as Tefillah: P-T-L. We are familiar with the...

Jacob’s Wedding Album by Prof. Gerald August

What if there had been a wedding photographer at Jacobs wedding. The pictures would show a beaming Jacob. After seven years of toil to earn the right to marry Rachel, the moment was at hand. Could he really restrain himself from beaming from ear to...

An Eloquent Silence Part Three

There is a second moment of Eloquent Silence (Part One & Part Two) in Vayeitzei: “And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah: 'Give me, I...

An Eloquent Silence Part Two

In “An Eloquent Silence,” (To which, you my dear readers responded with silence,) I asked which was the most eloquent silence in Vayeitzei. I would like to suggest two possibilities: Laban was hunting for his stolen idols. “Jacob answered and said to Laban,...

First Impressions I: Questions

He appeared at the well as a penniless vagabond. Jacob had nothing with him. “My brothers, where are you from?” he asked. I wonder if they reacted to “My brothers” the way I react when a panhandler on the subway begins his pitch with, “Hey!...

An Eloquent Silence

That silence is one of the great arts of conversation is allowed by Cicero himself, who says, there is not only an art but even an eloquence in it. - Hannah More There is such an eloquent silence, among the many moments of silence in this week's...