Parshas Beshalach 2019 No Body Left Behind As the B’nai Yisroel (Jewish people) prepared themselves and their belongings to finally leave the exile of Egypt, we find in the very first aliyah Moshe preoccupied with something else. At the end of Sefer Bereishis, Yaakov Avinu (Jacob) asked his sons swear to him by oath that they would bury him in Eretz Yisroel (Israel) rather in the land of Egypt. He had many reasons for this. A couple of those reasons included, he didn’t want the Egyptians to make a shrine out of his burial place and he didn’t want to be affected by any of the upcoming plagues. Yaakov also knew that when the final redemption came with the Messiah himself, He didn’t want to go through the pain of traveling back to Israel from Egypt. Yakov’s sons obliged with love and buried him in the Maaras HaMachpelah (cave of doubles). According to Rashi, when it was time for Yosef (Joseph) to die he too didn’t want to be buried in Egypt. Yet he wasn't able to ask his
Parshas Bo 2019 True Wealth The final three makos (plagues) were brought on the Mitzriyim (Egyptians) and finally the Jewish people were set free from bondage. After the last and most persuasive “plague of the firstborn,” Pharaoh , a first born himself, gave in to Moshe and his brother Aharon . He told them to take the Bnei Yisroel and leave. The people left with haste, so much so that their dough didn't even have time to rise. Six hundred thousand men began the journey and they brought with them their wives and children. Their departure included a massive sum of gold and silver which the Egyptians had given the Bnei Yisroel on their way out. If you recall, Hashem promised Avraham Avinu (Abraham) that his children would suffer greatly as slaves in foreign land (Egypt). Hashem also promised Avraham that they would “go forth with great abundance of wealth”. Our Sages explain that Hashem was promising Avraham his children would be leaving with the “unearthl
Parshas Vayechi 2018 Achieving Spiritual Perfection “Nobody’s perfect,” True. However, practice makes perfect, right? “When I came from Padan, my wife died with me.” (Genesis 48:7) Rashi explains Yaakov buried his wife Rochel in Beis Lechem rather than in the Cave of Machpelah with the other matriarchs. This was Hashem’s command so she should be able to help her children when they’re crying and begging Hashem for mercy by serving as an advocate for them in Shamayim (Heaven). Specifically during the period of the exile of Nebuchadnezzar. The Zohar reveals to us, Leah who cried to marry Yaakov , was granted the merit of being buried with him for eternity. While her sister Rochel who cried for her children (to have them), was buried on the road in Beis Lechem a place where she could cry for them. As it says, “ Rochel crying over her children.” (Jeremiah 31:14) When the pasuk says, “ died with me ” the Hebrew word can also be translated to mean “ die on my behalf ”.
Parshas Vayigash 2018 Showing Our Fear Yaakov , was inconsolable after losing his dearest son Yosef . Twenty two painful years without his son and now with the paralyzing thought of possibly losing his second most beloved child Binyamin hanging in the air, his sons finally returned from Egypt with news. They not only reported Binyamin's safety but they told him that Yosef was ALIVE and the ruler of Egypt! Although it took some convincing, Yaakov Avinu was ecstatic to learn that Yosef was indeed still alive. He was quite literally overwhelmed by the news and Rashi with other leading commentators explain, Yaakov actually suffered a cardiac arrest and needed revival. Interestingly, the Midrash says after Yaakov heard the news (and recovered) he decided to go down to Egypt to see his son and then return back to Eretz Canaan (Israel). As it says, “And Yaakov said in his heart: I will go and see my son, whether the fear of his G-d is still in his heart….” ( Sefer