Vayishlach

Only Passing Through

Jul 9, 2020 |

One of the foundational ideas of Judaism is that this lifetime is merely a preparation for the next, “This world is a hallway before the ballroom of the World to Come”. We are tasked with focusing our energies on connecting with Hashem through His Torah and the dictates of halacha, allowing them to elevate our lives and transform them into vessels for holiness. But it is easier said than done. This world is replete with forces that seek to drag…

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Wrestling with Eisav’s Angel in Our Times

Jul 9, 2020 |

In the beginning of this week’s parsha, Yaakov Avinu wrestles with his brother’s ministering angel until daybreak before meeting with Eisav himself. Reb Shlomo Carlebach reveals the inner dimension of this struggle. Eisav’s overarching challenge to Yaakov is that while his avodas Hashem may look good on the surface, it is ultimately standing on a weak foundation and does not represent his deepest truth. This point is expressed in a few ways in the episodes of Yaakov’s encounter with both…

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The Greatest Responsibility

Jul 9, 2020 |

“And Yaakov was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.” Commenting on this verse, the Midrash brings a pasuk in Yeshayahu (2:11), describing the sovereignty of Hashem in the times of Moshiach, “V’nisgav Hashem l’vado”, “And Hashem will be exalted, alone.” On a simple level, the connection between these verses seems to be that they both contain the word “livado” – alone. But what do Chazal mean to communicate in making the unlikely comparison to Yaakov’s vulnerable…

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