Parshat Vayishlach 5772: Living Up to Levado — Individually, Nationally

by Moshe Burt

We learn at the end of Parsha Vayeitzei that Yaakov and his family were escorted by a group of Melachim to the border of Eretz Yisrael where a second group of melachim took over and escorted them inside Eretz Yisrael. Yaakov declared both groups to be Holy and named this border point Mahanaim for the two camps of Melachim.

It was about this second camp that our Parsha begins by informing that Yaakov sent Melachim (angels) — some render a translation of messengers:

“… ahead of him to Eisev to the land of Seir, to the field of Edom… Thus shall you say … to Eisev, so said your servant Yaakov: ‘Im-Lavan garti’ (I have sojourned with Lavan) …” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 32, posukim 4 & 5). [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Vayeitzei 5772: Distinguishing Compassion and Cruelty L’Shem Shemayim

by Moshe Burt

In writing on Parshiyot Chayei Sarah and Toldos, this author cited Rebbetzin Shira Smiles from her sefer “Torah Tapestries” in discussing the attributes of unconditional kindness and bringing unity possessed by Rivka Imeinu and how these attributes in her merited the resumption of the Lamp burning and the Blessed Dough from Shabbos to Shabbos in the tent of Sarah Imeinu, as well as the Cloud of Glory which resumed hovering over the tent continuously. Rebbetzin Smiles (“Torah Tapestries”, Parsha Toldos, pages 89-90) cites Rabbi Eliyahu Yedid’s explanation of Rivka Imeinu’s Test of overcoming her nature of kindness and fostering of unity, and the role it played in Yaakov Avinu’s receiving his father’s Brachot: [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Toldos 5772: False Perceptions Vs Hashem’s Will — Then and Now?

by Moshe Burt

In considering Avraham Avinu’s passing and his son Yitzchak’s aveilut (mourning) of his Father’s passing, there seem to be a number of burning questions which beg to be asked concerning the relationship between Yitzchak and Eisev.

In understanding that Eisev was largely able to camouflage his evil behind his ability to honor his Father, how is it that he (Eisev), this master of Kibud Av, is out running wild committing two of the Big 3 aveirot — Gilui Aroyot; violating a betrothed maiden, and murder; in chopping off Nimrod’s head and killing his (Nimrod’s) 2 guards on the day of his Father’s aveilut? [...]  Click here to read more.

Parsha Chayei Sarah 5772: Unconditional Kindness and Passing the Torch

by Moshe Burt

Our Parsha opens by giving Sarah Imeinu’s age upon her death:

“Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven years: the years of Sarah’s life.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 23, posuk 1)

Why was it necessary to break the 127 years into 3 sections rather than to merely say, as rendered in translation in The Living Torah Chumash by R’ Aryeh Kaplan z”l (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 23, posuk 1):

“Sarah had lived to be 127 years old. These were the years of Sarah’s life.”  [...]  Click here to read more.