Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Parashat Beshalach: Testing in the Desert by Yaakov Bieler

January 31, 2012 by  
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The test of “Mara”. Immediately following the exodus from Egypt and the splitting of the Sea of Reeds, the first opportunity for the freshly minted “Jewish people” to interrelate with HaShem and His Prophet Moshe, was at Mara (Shemot 15:22-27). It was here that in response to the people’s request for potable water, HaShem taught [...]

Does it Take a Miracle to See a Former Enemy in a Favorable Light? by Yaakov Bieler

January 25, 2012 by  
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Prior to their departure from Egypt, it would appear that the Jews literally “borrowed” a great many precious objects from the Egyptians.                 Part of the “Brit Bein HaBetarim” (the Covenant between the Pieces) (Beraishit 15:9-21) is the Divine Promise that when the Jews finally are redeemed from the servitude and oppression that they will [...]

Parashat VaEira: Study as a Means for Allowing One to “Hear” by Yaakov Bieler

January 19, 2012 by  
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The Jewish people’s lack of receptivity to Moshe’s message of impending redemption. The final total demoralization of the Jewish people during their enslavement in Egypt is reflected in Shemot 6:9. And Moshe spoke in just this way (he related all that HaShem had Instructed him to say[1] to the children of Israel, and they did [...]

Reflections on Tzniut and Beit Shemesh by Aryeh Klapper

January 19, 2012 by  
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The unconscionable physical and verbal violence against women in Beit Shemesh and elsewhere have degraded the religious concept of tzeniut (modesty) by associating it with misogyny and oppression. Some Orthodox condemnations of that violence, by objecting to means while acknowledging shared ends, have added to that degradation.  My purpose here is to directly reject the ends, in other words [...]

Parashat Shemot: Coming of Age and Searching for Oneself by Yaakov Bieler

January 13, 2012 by  
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Coming of Age and Searching for Oneself Going outside one’s immediate family as part of the process of identity formation. The seminal event in Moshe’s coming of age, the action that simultaneously reveals to us his true essential nature, as well as the types of actions that he is destined to undertake throughout his life, [...]

Parashat VaYechi: Yoseph’s Post-Adolescent Righteousness is Met with Parental Skepticism by Yaakov Bieler

January 4, 2012 by  
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Yoseph’s righteousness not only during adolescence, but also beyond.                 In the essay for Parshat VaYeshev, “A Powerful Adolescent Commitment to Righteousness”,[1] Yoseph’s special qualities that caused ChaZaL to categorize him as a “Tzaddik” already at the relatively tender age of seventeen were discussed. His repeated adherence to a powerful idealism that precipitated certain exceedingly [...]