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Jacob the Builder

I spent a great deal of time thinking about Jacob this year, especially about his death as I knew that my mother a"h was approaching her end. ("A Different Sort of Fear of Life," "Not Waiting for the Monument," "The Fragrance of Permanence," "Stopping the...

The Character in the Storm

“Talents are better nurtured in solitude, but character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).” We have been accompanying Jacob as he traces backwards the steps of his life in this life-defining portion, “Jacob Lived,” as his mission to...

"Is Your Name Your Fame?" by Prof Gerald August

After wrestling with a man all night, the man asked Jacob what his name was. He responds, and is told his name will be Israel, because he has wrestled with G-d and man and prevailed. Jacob asks the man his name but the man refused...

Filling in the Gaps

[caption id="attachment_6127" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Filling in the Gaps"][/caption]“Waiting for Godot” follows two days in the lives of a pair of men who divert themselves while they wait expectantly and in vain for someone named Godot to arrive. They claim him as an acquaintance but in...

Why Did You Get Married? by Rav Moshe Stepansky

My good friend, the holy rebbi and Ba'al Tefillah, Rav Moshe Stepansky offered the following in response to "Abtu & Anet, Zaratan & Quilp": Here's a good Rav Amital story: Once at a wedding Rav Amital approaches one of the collelnikim present and asks him "Do you...

Getting Everything Right

Today is a good day. For the first time ever, Debbie sent me shopping and, not only did I find everything on her list, I found the correct size and brand. I didn’t have to make my usual second and third trip to the stores....

Leaving His Stories Behind

The Torah does not identify the man who wrestled with Jacob. It’s probably not that important. “No longer will it be said that your name is Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with the Divine and with man and have overcome.” (32:29) Jacob is...