21:25– After Yitzchak’s miraculous birth, Avimelech, king of Gerar, approaches Avraham with his military general Pichol, and they request to enter into a covenant of peace with our forefather. Magnanimously putting aside his complicated history with the Pelishti King (actually, their history was pretty straightforward… the latter abducted our matriarch Sarah, and then put the […]

Lech Lecha- Fulfilling the ENTIRE Brit

17:7– In Hashem’s last communication to Avram in this sedra, He commands our forefather in brit milah. In return, Hashem promises to be a G-d to Avram, his children and all of their descendants (Sforno adds that even descendants who “become lost” from our faith are still included). He also promises Avram’s Eretz Migurim, described […]

Lech Lecha- Crying out in the Name of Hashem

12:8– As our first forefather follows Hashem’s call of Lech Lecha, he travels around the Land of Cana’an, stopping in different cities and, according to Rashi, encircling the land as a declaration of ownership. Avram’s first stop is Elonei Mamrei, and he then travels to Bet El, where he builds another mizbe’ach and there also […]

Vayetze- Keeping Hashem as Our G-d in Our Exile

History has shown that life for Jews in the Diaspora is dangerous… But, if one, like Yaakov, needs to leave Israel for extenuating circumstances and temporarily exile himself, then it’s important to follow our forefather’s thought process and remember that the most important part of our lives as Jews is “וְשַׁבְתִּי בְשָׁלוֹם, אֶל-בֵּית אָבִי; וְהָיָה ה’ לִי, לֵאלֹקים.” If one lives far from Israel, but knows that his time in the Diaspora is only temporary and that he really belongs in the land of his forefathers, then Hashem will extend him the protection he needs in order to stay safe while doing what he needs to do there.

Learning From Our Ancestors’ Mistakes

Ramban, in his commentary on Sefer Beresheet, quotes the famous teaching in Beresheet Raba of “אמר לו הקב”ה (לאברהם): שב אתה סימן לבניך,” explaining: “כל מה שאירע לאבות- סימן לבנים-” every story, every encounter, every significant event that happened to our forefathers has significance to us. For the past few weeks, we’ve shown how different […]

Lech Lecha- The Eternal Blessing

Throughout the course of our first forefather’s spiritual and physical journey, transforming from the Kasdi Avram to Av Hamon Goyim, the inheritor of Canaan, G-d makes promises. After Avram goes through the terrible trial of going down to Egypt after barely settling in Canaan, only to have his wife kidnapped, and then is forced to […]