By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Parenting has become a big industry. People are confounded and confused about how to raise their children. They need not look further than this week’s parsha, where Yaakov lovingly explains, praises exhorts and admonishes his sons. Successful parenting requires all of those responses in measured doses. In order for life skills to be properly conveyed, children must be disciplined and taught respect, responsibility, fidelity to Torah and moral principles. The question is how that is best accomplished.
The letter was a perfect introduction to this week’s parsha.
The writer is a leading activist for Lev L’Achim, working day and night to uncover the dormant sparks within the souls of our secular brethren in Israel. He works with single-minded focus, because he knows that with enough work and dedication, he will succeed, as he has repeatedly.
Although Chanukah is a mitzvah miderabonon, there are several oblique references in the Torah to the yom tov we celebrate this week. The Ramban in Parshas Beha’aloscha famously connects Aharon Hakohein’s lighting of the menorah in the Mishkon to the lighting of the Chanukah menorah in our day.
We read in this week’s parsha of the unfortunate relationship between the shevotim. They didn’t like Yosef, and the posuk reports that, in fact, they were unable to speak to him peaceably (Bereishis 37:4).
Rashi quotes the Medrash which states that from the Torah’s disparaging remark about the brothers, we derive their praise. They didn’t possess the ability to be two-faced. They were unable to create an outward impression of friendship while feeling otherwise in their hearts.
Every account and detail of the avos and their travels is replete with life-lessons and directives. Parshas Vayishlach, in particular, is a guide-book in relations with the umos ha’olam. Chazal tell us that the chachomim who traveled to Rome to meet with their overlords would carefully study this week’s parsha prior to setting out on their precarious journeys.
This week, we ushered in Chodesh Kislev and with it the feelings of anticipation for the upcoming yom tov of Chanukah, which celebrates the Maccabees and their rallying cry of “Mi laHashem eilai,” drawing the minority of believers in their day to the flag of holiness.
Once again, in this week’s parsha, we read an account portrayed in just a few pesukim which reverberates through the ages. This week, in Parshas Toldos, we study the exchange between Yaakov and Eisov which eternally defines the role of Jews in golus and draws the lines of an eternal division bein Yisroel lo’amim.
As we study the parshiyos of Sefer Bereishis, we must learn to develop proper perspectives. At the outset of the stories that are told regarding our forefathers, the Ramban (Bereishis 12:6) reminds us of Chazal’s admonition: “Ma’aseh avos simon labonim.” Seemingly regular occurrences are painted with the brush of eternity. The Torah’s recollection of stories that took place during the lives of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov reveal layers of significance in ordinary encounters.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The memoirs of former Knesset member Rabbi Shlomo Lorencz are replete with anecdotes and encounters that underscore the acuity and foresight of gedolei Yisroel.
In his book, Bemechitzosom, he discusses the time an Israeli army chaplain posed a question to the Chazon Ish concerning a soldier who was engaged to be married. The army schedule precluded him from arranging any time off for a wedding, the chaplain said.
The chosson was finally approaching a furlough, which would allow him to celebrate his long-awaited matrimony. However, his break fell during Sefirah, the period in the Jewish calendar when weddings are not held.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, October 09, 2013
They came from everywhere, from every corner of the country.
Some closed their Gemaros, some their school books, and others their falafel stores. Then they set out on their way and converged on Yeshivat Porat Yosef in Geulah.
They walked miles, the length of K’vish Ramot, from the entrance to the city, from near and from far. They abandoned their cars, busses and packages to join with the multitudes forming a sea of people mournfully parting from a beloved, affectionate, leader. They flocked from everywhere and in every type of dress to bid farewell to the towering figure who gave an entire community a reason to hold their heads high.