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 ..
Three times a day we glibly say the first verse of the Shema, articulating the belief that most defines our Jewishness. But what is its origin, what does it really mean and why is it so central to our prayers? A Single Almighty Force The preeminent phrase in all of Jewish liturgy, Shema Yisrael: Hear Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is One, was composed inParshas Vayechi by the sons of Ya'acov. It is the key to awareness of Divine intent in everything we experience. Traditionally we assume that in the Shema we address our nation, Israel. Each of us directs the community o..
Fear and Faith are Feelings Fear is an intuition; it is a feeling, an emotion. Fear is not the product of data or intellectual process. So, when someone feels afraid, it is not helpful to tell them not to worry, that there is nothing to fear. The way to counter fear is with Faith. Faith is also an intuition, it is also an emotion : faith in yourself, faith in your G-d. Like Fear, you will not experience Faith through the mastery of data or of intellectual process. You access faith through intuitive feeling, not through rational proof. The feeling of fear in the pits of our stom..
Bereichit 48:10-11; and Seforno 48:10 The Power of Sight We underestimate the power of seeing. Seeing the objective world around us is an undervalued activity; something few of us recognize as an activity at all. We rarely see one another truly, even in intimate relationships. Sometimes romantic couples will look deeply into one another’s eyes when they date, but that is likely to happen less frequently in the routine of their marriage. We are often preoccupied when we see, and so we see very little of what is around us; what is happening on any level deeper..