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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Parshat Vayetze 5769: Image and Identity - Part 2

by in Vayetze .

"One who knows himself knows Hashem, and one who does not know himself, how could he know Hashem?[1]   Journey with me   "One cannot know Hashem if he does not know his inner-self, his soul and his body. For what could one who does not know the essence of his inner-self want with wisdom?" - Ibn Ezra Shemot 31:18 The journey to self-discovery is a journey to wisdom. Without self-knowledge, Torah is a collection of facts and rules whereas it should be so much more than that. Torah should integrate every facet of life into a single, coherent worldview. It is such a worl..


Vayeitzei 5773: Choice and Destiny

by in Vayetze .

When we joyously participate in the tapestry of time and recognize it as our destiny, we ignite powerful flames of human energy in ourselves. The Tapestry of Time Permanent coupling for marriage, it seems, is not instinctual. While physical relationship between the sexes is instinctual, marriage is a value and not an instinct; it entails investment and requires mindful choice. Animals are instinctually wired to couple physiologically for the purpose of breeding. Animals, however, do not bond permanently in marriage to raise their offspring and provide lifelong companionship to one anothe..


Parshiot Toldot, Vayeitzei, Vayishlach 5770: The Unique Character of Israel

by in Toldot, Vayetze, Vayishlach .

Nature vs. Nurture….or neither?   Who is this man Ya'acov, later renamed Israel a name we see in almost every newspaper and newscast almost every day? His story begins with a mother perplexed by the almost schizophrenic nature of her fetus that is equally stimulated by the energy of divine sanctity and the negative force of idolatry.  According to some, she knew she had twins, in which case she must have thought of the possibility that each child is stimulated by a different force, one by kedusha, the other by avodah zara (idolatry). Why is she so perpl..


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