Art in Service (Chayei-Sarah, 5775)

by in Midrash Series 5775, Chayei Sarah .

Service requires that one is singularly dedicated to the people one serves and that even ones own self-interests are subordinated to theirs. © Rabbi David Lapin, 2014 What the Midrash Means Series - 1:5 Avraham instructs Eliezer, his chief-of-staff and foremost disciple, to go to Harran and find among Avraham’s family there, a prospective wife for Yitzchak (Bereishit 24). Eliezer asks his master what he should do in the event the girl he finds does not wish to emigrate from her homeland, in this case would he allow Yitzchak to go and live with her family in Harran? Avraham answers i..

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Chayei Sara 5773: The Six Factors of Enduring Love

by in Chayei Sarah .

When these six factors are in place, a man cannot help but fall in love and stay in love with his wife; a love that is deep, profound and able to heal even the most savage of wounds. Healing grief Any significant loss causes grief and needs healing. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, in her 1969 book, The Five Stages of Grief, outlines the process of healing and suggests its five steps: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. She does not deal with the way people of strong faith manage loss and how they can often accelerate the process or omit some of its steps, at time..

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Parshat Chayei Sarah 5768: LeHashem Ha’aretz Umelo’oh: The Slave who was a Master

by in Chayei Sarah .

Breishit, Chap. 23, & 24:2   Purchasing and Investing This week I gave back a car I had been leasing for four years. It was the first car I have driven that I really “loved”! The experience led me to reflect on ownership. The Hebrew word ba’al means “owner”. Ba’al also means “master”.  Ownership describes a static relationship between a person and an object and is achieved through legal transaction. Mastery describes a dynamic relationship achieved through focused attention and disciplined effort. Normally one owns things but one masters skills a..

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Parshat Chayei Sarah 5769: I Got Taken!

by in Chayei Sarah .

The Ring The quaint custom in so many cultures of giving a bride a ring has its origins in this week's parsha. The custom may appear quaint but in essence it is almost a commercial transaction. "Ha'isha Nikneit …be'kessef (a wife is acquired with cash)," says the Mishna at the beginning ofMassechet Kiddushin, the Gemarra that we are studying in the iAwaken teleconference Gemarra shiur every Sunday.[1] The ring is a piece of pure gold intended as an object of internationally tradable currency. What appears quaint could in fact be regarded a..

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Parshat Chayei Sarah 5765: Love and Intimacy

by in Chayei Sarah .

  The Talmud Tractate, Kidushin, opens with the three actions that transact a legal marriage: Kesef, Shetar and Biah. This is not merely a statement of legalities but also an indication of the three pillars of an ongoing successful relationship: Value (kesef) means material generosity particularly by a man to his wife, documentation (shetar) signifies verbal communication, and intimacy (Biah), refers to a healthy and nourishing physical relationship.  A relationship weak in any of these three areas will wobble.   The Talmud extrapolates Kesef from Sedei Efro..

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