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Misgav Ladach

Jacob goes down to Egypt and begins a comfortable period of life thanks to Joseph’s proximity to Pharaoh’s regime. But immediately after Joseph leaves the scene, Pharaoh changes and begins to harass the group of immigrants which is multiplying uncontrollably. Pharaoh’s struggle with the children of Israel becomes apparent when he clearly instructs the Hebrew midwives to prevent the continuity of the Jewish people by saying “any son born must be thrown into the Nile.” The midwives come out against this terrible decree and don’t comply, and thanks to their struggle and bravery, they were rewarded by having descendants who were great leaders who led the people of Israel to redemption. With the

Chavruta of the Week: Lielle Suissa and Noya Dick

Every Monday after school we learn about Emunah and Bitachon in Hashem. We learn about the differences between Faith and Trust. One of the most important things we learned is that you're always responsible for your actions but you're not responsible for your results. You have to always remember Hashem puts you in a situation because he knows that only you could handle the situation. Hashem always wants what's best for us.

A Double Redemption

In our parasha we confront the status of exile for the first time in our Jewish history. Yaakov and his sons find themselves in Galut with no happy end in near sight. Rashi even says that in order to demonstrate that feeling our Parasha doesn’t start in a separate paragraph. That is to show the deep darkness that Galut symbolizes. Outside of the homeland and with no independence, Am Israel is depressed and out of fresh air. The Midrash teaches that in order to spark a bit of light Yaakov Avinu wanted to reveal the end of this exile but Hasem wouldn’t let him. This Midrash seems awkward because if Hashem didn’t want Yaakov to tell that secret, why did he share it with him in the first place.

Something to think about...

Yishmael is a different story. Why? Before Yaakov Avinu passed away he blessed his sons. This started not with his direct sons, but with his grandsons Efraim and Menashe. When doing this he crosses his arms so that his strong hand would be on Efraim, the younger brothers head. When asked why he explained that Efraim’s descendants will be more righteous than his older brother Menashe’s. The situation is still quite strange because the Midrash Rabbah tells us that Hashem saved Yishmael from the desert because he does not judge people for what their descendants will do. Furthermore it obviously mattered to Yosef and probably mattered to Menashe as well. Was it really worth it to honor the young

The Purpose of Galut Mitzrayim

In our parasha we confront the status of exile for the first time in our Jewish history. Yaakov and his sons find themselves in Galut with no happy end in near sight. Rashi even says that in order to demonstrate that feeling our Parasha doesn’t start in a separate paragraph. That is to show the deep darkness that Galut symbolizes. Outside of the homeland and with no independence, Am Israel is depressed and out of fresh air. The Midrash teaches that in order to spark a bit of light Yaakov Avinu wanted to reveal the end of this exile but Hasem wouldn’t let him. This Midrash seems awkward because if Hashem didn’t want Yaakov to tell that secret, why did he share it with him in the first place.

Chavruta of the Week: Yoni Mydlarski and Rav Asael Levin

Every morning after Shacharit we learn two Halachot from Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. Topics vary from Hilchot Tfillin to Halachot regarding all types of Chagim. It is a pleasure for both of us to learn together since we’re both interested in Halacha L’maase. We both rub each other in the way that can both teach each other the language that we’re most comfortable with – Yoni speaking English, and Asael speaking Hebrew. In relation to the end of Yaakov’s life that we see in this Parasha, the first part of the Haphtara speaks about the end of King David’s life. David calls his son Shlomo and teaches him how he should work to continue the empire that he worked so hard to build. King David begins his

Rachel's Tomb

As Jacob’s death is approaching, Jacob calls Joseph and begins to prepare him for what to do after his death, but suddenly there is a verse which seems unrelated to the context: “And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died unto me in the land of Canaan in the way, when there was still some way to come unto Efrat, and I buried her there on the way to Efrat – the same is Bethlehem.” (Genesis 48:7) The Midrash says that at this point, at the beginning of exile, Jacob begins to explain to Joseph the special role of Rachel in accompanying the nation of Israel to exile, and how she will inspire them not to give up, and to continue to pray and plead for the return to the Land in due course.

Lighting Shabbat Candles

There is a mitzva to light a candle to honor Shabbat. There are three reasons for this: 1) to honor Shabbat, as a banquet without light is of no significance; 2) for oneg Shabbat, because one who cannot see his food does not enjoy it; 3) to bring shalom bayit (peace in the home), because one who cannot see his furniture and belongings trips over them and gets angry and irritable. It is so important to have light at the Shabbat table that the Sages stated that one who does not have enough money to buy a candle should go door to door begging for charity in order to buy it. One who has only a bit of money should first buy bread so he does not fast on Shabbat. After that, if he still has money l

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