To Mock Another’s Religion (Bo, 5775)

by in Bo .

Our true enemy is not any other religion especially not a monotheistic one. Our true enemy is a harder one to combat for it has infiltrated into the core of our communities. Bo 5775 © Rabbi David Lapin, What the Midrash Means Series - 1:14 _________________________________   The Charlie Hebdo cartoon making fun of Muhammad is nothing compared to Moshe’s attack on the Egyptian deity of his time. G-d instructs Moshe to publicly slaughter large numbers of lambs, the Egyptian god. He is instructed to do so for the very purpose of mocking Egyptian beliefs in the lamb’s supe..

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Vulnerability in Leadership (Shmot 5775)

by in Shmot .

The right to welcome in the new must be earned by the courage to challenge the old. Shemos 5775 © Rabbi David Lapin, 2015 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:13 _________________________________   Context Notice a glaring omission in the Parsha: In setting up Moshe’s confrontation with the king of Egypt, Hashem clearly includes the zekeinim (elders) in the Jewish delegation (Shemot 3:18). However when the meeting actually happens, the zekeinim are conspicuously excluded from mention. There must be a relevant lesson in this, what is it? Our Midrash explores. Midrash ..


Coincidence (Vayechi 5775)

by in Vayechi .

It is in the daily economic activity of earning a living that we come face-to-face with G-d and experience miracle first hand. Vayechi 5775 © Rabbi David Lapin, 2014 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:12 _________________________________ Context Sometimes the parsha  in which a Midrash appears forms its context. But at other times an event in ones life provides the context for understanding a Midrash. Often the event is fleeting or even trivial, until it is enriched by a flash of wisdom from a Midrash. This was the case this week when my eye was caught by an ..


The Time Machine (Vayigash, 5775)

by in Vayigash .

Going back to source, we discover a level of aliveness that transports us forward into the most progressive and modern places we can get without adulterating the essence of who we are and what we stand for. Vayigash 5775 © Rabbi David Lapin, 2014 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:11 ____________________________ Context Pharoh instructs Yoseif and his brothers to go back to Canaan and bring their father and his household to Egypt where, thanks to Yoseif’s strategies, there is no famine. He instructs them to take government carriages and use them to transport their father and his..

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Hishtadlut: Invest or Gamble? (Miketz, 5775)

by in Miketz .

Hishtadlut: Invest or Gamble? You increase your odds by buying two lottery tickets, you do not increase your odds nor reduce your risk if you double your investment in the same instrument. אשרי הגבר אשר שם ה' מבטחו (תהילים מ׳) Fortunate is a man who sees Hashem as his security (Psalms 40). Mikeitz 5775 © Rabbi David Lapin, 2014 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:10  _____________________ Context You are a renowned consultant and financial manager. A threatened boss has you arrested, tried and imprisoned on a serious trumped-up charge. Your legal remedies are exhauste..


Inspire a Universe (Vayeishev 5775)

by in Vayeshev .

Often we feel critical of people who seek recognition for the kindness they do. But the Torah’s view of the subject is counter-intuitive and surprising. עולם חסד יבנה (תהילים פ"ט) A universe can be constructed from acts of kindness (Psalms 89)  Vayeishev 5775 © Rabbi David Lapin, 2014 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:9 ____________________________ Context Yoseif’s brothers decide that his repetitive attempts to alienate them from their father and displace them as spiritual heirs to their father’s legacy, was a capital offense. Just before they execute him, Reuvein, th..


"The Wisdom of Seduction" - To provide the naive with slyness (Vayishlach 5775)

by in Vayishlach .

לתת לפתאים ערמה (משלי א׳ ד׳)   To provide the naive with slyness Vayishlach 5775 © Rabbi David Lapin, 2014 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:8 ____________________________ Context On his journey home, Yaacov gets news that his twin brother Eisav has set out to meet him with a large and aggressive army. Yaacov fears that despite G-d’s promise of protection in the previous parsha, he might not have lived up to G-d’s expectations while he was living with Lavan, and the promise may therefore not be valid any more. In addition to praying for his and his large family’s safety, ..

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Nutrition vs. Nourishment - For life is nourished by more than bread alone (Vayeitzei 5775)

by in Midrash Series 5775, Vayetze .

כי לא על הלחם לבדו יחיה האדם For life is nourished by more than bread alone Vayeitzei 5775 © Rabbi David Lapin, 2014 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:7 Context About to cross the border of the Holy Land on his way to Haran in flight from his raging brother, Ya’acov takes a nap on the spot which, unbeknown to him at the time, was to become the Temple Mount. The dazzling beauty of the ladder dream tends to eclipse the deep experiences of Yaacov when he awoke. Shocked that he had slept in so holy a place he marks the spot and makes an oath: If he, Yaacov, is able to retain his ..

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