Courage in Hardship: Meaninglessness makes suffering harder. There is courage to be gained from finding meaning in hardship (Vayeira, 5775)

by in Midrash Series 5775, Vayeira .

© Rabbi David Lapin, 2014 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:4   Bad things happen to good people We’ll never fully understand why things that seem so bad happen to people who seem so good. Still, there is courage to be gained from understanding the meaning of suffering and finding purpose in hardship. To help in the quest for meaning, the Midrash offers a framework using three metaphors to explain the verse in Tehillim 11:5 “Hashem tests tazaddikkim whereas His soul despises those who are wicked and who love corruption.” “1) Rabbi Yonattan explains: a potter checking his po..

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Parshat Vayera 5768: Yediah, Hashgacha and Bechira – Divine Omniscience, Individual Attention and Personal Free Choice

by in Vayeira .

    Bereishit, 18:19 Parshat Vayeira, 5768   Natural Law and Miracles Every Jew, every descendant of Avraham, can himself or herself above the forces of nature, and experience miracles. This is so even though most of the time most of us are subject to the general trends of the world and to the programs of the universe. Hashgacha Prattit(Hashem’s personal attention and protection) is individually focused on us only at critical moments in our lives. For the rest of the time, unless we are one of the pious few, we are subject to the natural laws of the univer..

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Vayera 5773: Your Work - Your Vehicle for Kidush Hashem

by in Vayeira .

Avraham, the master innovator, shows us how to inspire people to change, and how to use business as a vehicle for this inspiration. Inspire Change Only if you truly inspire others (your children, employees, students or strangers) might you genuinely change their behaviors, attitudes or assumptions. Merely challenging them to change or even incentivizing them to change just intimidates them and doesn't cut it, nor does appeasing them with love and connection. In the work environment 84% of employees (globally) feel coerced because they are managed with the fear of conseque..

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Parshat Vayera 5767: Following the Wisdom Within You

by in Vayeira .

Would he or wouldn’t he have? Imagine that Avraham Avinu read and practiced my last week’s Parsha Insight. Do you think he would still have passed the test of the Akeida (offering his son Yitzchak, as per Hashem’s request)? Or, would he have gone deep into his inner internal wisdom and come to the conclusion that offering an only son, or any son for that matter, is just not on?! Put another way, what do we do when our own deep intuitive wisdom is not aligned with G-d’s word in the Torah? There are only two possible reasons why our inner thoughts may not align with the Torah: Either we ..

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