Jacob's Ladder

Visions of G-d?

In this week’s parsha, VaYetzei, Jacob has a vision of a ladder connecting heaven and earth, on which angels ascend and descend.  At the top of the ladder, in his dream, he “sees” G-d standing over him.  Now, there are many, many prophetic visions in the Torah, and many expressions that seem to assign some type of form or even body to G-d.  We always understand these as allegory and ...

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Rabbi Mordechai Becher’s VLog – Tragedy, Yes. Kristallnacht, No! – Chayei Sarah 5779

On October 27, 2018, a deranged man entered a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, and murdered 11 innocent Jews. Rabbi Mordechai Becher noticed that many people have been comparing this tragedy to the infamous "Kritallnacht" which occurred in Germany 9–10 November 1938, however, he takes exception to this comparison and explains why in this video. View this video directly on Vimeo.

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The Soul, Mourning and the Afterlife

In this week’s parsha, Abraham mourns the passing of his wife, Sarah, and we, in the Jeiwsh world also are mourning the tragic deaths of eleven innocent Jews, gunned down by a rabid anti-Semite in Pittsburgh.  I felt that it would be appropriate, for both ancient and current mourning to discuss some ideas about the soul, death, and the afterlife.  The Jewish view of the human being encompasses both physical ...

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Clothes Maketh the Man or Woman (or do they?)

It is almost impossible to avoid media discussions about the clothes of the latest star in the British royal family.  A segment of a talk show is dedicated to this, newspaper articles, blogs and twitter feeds dwell on the most minute details of the royals’ fashion choices.  So, I thought that a few words may be in order regarding Judaism’s attitude to clothing, modesty and beauty. He has told you, O ...

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Lech Lecha – Go to…Israel!

The first words of G-d to Abraham are a commandment for him to go to Israel, Aliyah.  Aliyah has been cherished dream of Jews throughout the centuries.  In fact the very word aliyah means to “go up” because the Jewish people have always regarded moving to Israel as an ascent, an act of spiritual elevation. At times, this dream was realized, but more often, circumstances prevented it becoming anything more ...

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