Friday, December 30, 2016

Miketz - Real Peace

When Benjamin was caught with the 'stolen' goblet, what was the beginning of the conversation about between Yosef and Yehuda? Why were the brothers innocent even as they were guilty? What did Yosef mean when he said that he would only keep Benjamin as a slave and the others could return 'in peace' to their father? What was Yehuda's response to this 'peace?' What was the meaning of the heavenly voice that declared that 'peace is to those who love Torah?'

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 20:26

Friday, December 23, 2016

Vayeshev - Yosef and Chanukah

What is the lesson in the story of Yosef and his challenges? Why do we always read these passages during our celebration of Chanukah? Why does Chanukah occur toward the end of the Jewish month of Kislev? Why does the miracle of Chanukah occur in the winter? Why does it happen at a point in history where most of the Jewish people had taken on a Hellenistic way of life, and only a few remained steadfast to their traditions? What does it mean that Hashem is the 'One Who waits?'

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 20:05

Friday, December 16, 2016

Vayishlach - Rising Above Angels

How can we understand the contrast between when Jacob returns to Israel and battles with the angel, as opposed to when he left Israel and just passively observed them climbing and descending the ladder? What is the depth of the idea of the name of Esav's angel, which denotes 'blinding?' Why does Jacob have all these traumatic experiences on his return to Israel? Why is the battle with the angel in the center of the description of his encounter with Esav - before he even meets him? Why did Jacob 'remain behind by himself?' Why did this bring about the struggle with the angel? What is the meaning of the midrash's statement that 'all the Hashem will do in the future, the righteous do in this world?'

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 24:44

Friday, December 9, 2016

Vayetzei - Drawing Hashem into the Darkness

What is the idea of the vow that Jacob makes as he leaves the land of Israel? Why does he ask for such basic things - bread and clothing? What is the understanding of R' Bachya's teaching that he received much more than bread and clothing? What is the depth of R' Yeshoshua's explanation to the proselyte that when Hashem promises 'bread and clothing' it means Torah and eternal spiritual life? What is the connection between Jacob's vow and all future vows of the people of Israel? What is the connection between Jacob's vow and the future redemption of the Jewish people?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 26:44

Friday, December 2, 2016

Toldos - Clothes of Dominion

What were the special clothes that Rivka made sure Yakov wore when he stole the blessings from Esav? Why did wild animals become docile when they saw these garments? Why did Esav wear them whenever he served his father? How were they connected to Adam's naming of all the animals? Why did they give Adam dominion over all of the creations in the world? Why does Adam name all the animals right in the middle of the Torah's account of Hashem's creation of Eve? Why is Yakov sent to marry immediately after he receives the blessings? Why does Yakov include animal descriptions in his blessings of his children?

Find out in this week's parsha podcast.

Running time: 24:58