Chanuka And Total Reality

Parashat Mikeitz The festival of Chanukah is very popular. Many Jews identify with it, and many because they probably misunderstand it. They either think of it as celebration of political independence, or as a type of nationalistic holiday. Really, Chanukah is about a clash of cultures – Judaism and the Torah versus the Hellenistic Greeks….

I Have a Dream

Parshas Vayeishev Dreams feature prominently in our Parsha. The dreams of Joseph that precipitated his slavery in Egypt, the dreams of Pharaoh that needed interpretation, and the dreams of Joseph’s fellow prisoners, that eventually led to his release. The word for dream in Hebrew is “chalom”, spelled chet, lamed, mem. A great Chassidic thinker once…

Limping But Still Here

Parshas Vayishlach This weeks Parsha describes the dramatic encounter between Jacob and an angel, who, according to our Sages, represents the forces of anti-Semitism. The angel hurts Jacob in his sciatic nerve causing him to limp until the dawn, when Jacob is healed. The Torah goes on to say that for this reason that we…

Guaranteed Survival

Parshas Vayeitzeh Our patriarch, Jacob, has a vision of a ladder connecting heaven and earth, with angels going up and down the ladder, and the Divine Presence standing at the top. This vision terrifies him, because according to our Sages, the “angels” going up and down are really representations of the various kingdoms and nations…