Expensive Real Estate Indeed – Hebron and the Cave of Machpelah

One of the earliest recorded purchases of land was Abraham’s purchase of the Machpelah cave and field in Hebron for the burial of his wife, Sarah.  The Torah provides us with the details of his protracted negotiations with the Hittites, Abraham’s insistence on paying “full price,” and his concern that the elders of the Hittites should agree to and witness the purchase because this was the beginning of G-d’s promise ...

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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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The First Jewish Burial

This week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, relates the details of the first Jewish burial, that of our Matriarch, Sarah. I felt that it would be appropriate to address the subject of burial and the treatment of the body in this week’s essay. The human body is the vehicle that God has given the soul in order to fulfill its task of perfection in the physical world. The body and the soul ...

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