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#ShabbatShalom Excerpted from Dr. Jerry Hochbaum's "The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership:"Parashat #Toldo...
11/29/2019
Parashat Toldot: The Leader and His Progeny: Never One Size in Education | Everyday Jewish Living | OU Press

#ShabbatShalom
Excerpted from Dr. Jerry Hochbaum's "The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership:"

Parashat #Toldot - The Leader and His Progeny: Never One Size in Education

The Torah characteristically does not cover up the blemishes of our ancestors. We must learn from their noble achievements, but from their errors as well.

https://oupress.org/excerpts/toldot-leader-progeny/

Excerpted from The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms of Leadership by Dr. Jerry Hochbaum, co-published by OU Press and KTAV The Leader and His Progeny:

#ShabbatShalomExcerpted from Rabbi Norman Lamm's "Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages:"Parashat #ChayeiSaraWhen ...
11/22/2019
Parshat Chayei Sara: Frankness as Vice and as Virtue | Everyday Jewish Living | OU Press

#ShabbatShalom
Excerpted from Rabbi Norman Lamm's "Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages:"

Parashat #ChayeiSara

When it comes to telling the truth, one must also be judicious and consider the secret fears and vanities of his fellows, their sensitivities and idiosyncrasies.

https://oupress.org/excerpts/chayei-sara-frankness/

Excerpted from Rabbi Norman Lamm's "Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages - Genesis" co-published by OU Press and Maggid Publishers Most people have

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer BereishisParshas #ChayeiSaraוַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם אֶל עַבְדּוֹ - And Abraham s...
11/19/2019
Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Bereishis - OU Press

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Bereishis

Parshas #ChayeiSara

וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָהָם אֶל עַבְדּוֹ - And Abraham said to his servant.

Abraham's life story, as told by the Torah, begins at the age of seventy-five and comes to an end with Sarah’s death. The originator of the covenant and creator of a new moral code was not a single individual. Two people were charged with the task, a man and a woman, Abraham and Sarah. They were both indispensable for the implementation of the divine plan. Both of them converted people; both taught the many. Once Sarah died, Abraham’s assignment came to an end. He was ordered by the Almighty to withdraw from the arena of history, retreat into privacy, and live like an ordinary man. The vacancy was filled by someone else who was instructed to step into history and live as the father of a nation: Isaac. Of course, the second assignment included a woman as well: Rebecca, who took the place of Sarah. The covenant had to have a father and a mother. Eliezer’s journey resulted in the discovery of Rebecca as the successor of Sarah.

The pioneering Chumash Mesoras HaRav series contains the full text of Chumash together with the exceptional commentary of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. #Soloveitchik. Chumash Mesoras HaRav adapts the Rav’s writings and teachings into a commentary that reflects his intellectual depth, explanatory creativity, and timeless insight.

https://oupress.org/product/chumash-mesoras-harav-sefer-bereishis

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the “Rav,” was the towering rabbinic thinker of the 20th century. As part of the wellspring of his Torah knowledge, he taught, wrote, and lectured extensively on Chumash with profound insight and brilliant creativity. The Rav, however, never wrote a systematic comme...

#ShabbatShalom #VayeiraExcerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin's "Unlocking the Torah Text - Bereish*t:"Why does Avraham reac...
11/15/2019
Parshat Vayeira: Avraham’s Sudden Silence - OU Press

#ShabbatShalom #Vayeira
Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin's "Unlocking the Torah Text - Bereish*t:"

Why does Avraham react to the challenge of the Akeida with deafening silence? Where is the Avraham that we have come to know – the man who is unwilling to accept the world as it is; the man who, unlike Noach before him, struggles with his Creator at every stage of his life?

https://oupress.org/excerpts/vayeira-avrahams-silence/

Why does Avraham react to the challenge of the akeida with deafening silence? Where is the Avraham that we have come to know?

New from OU Press and KTAVThe Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership by Dr. Jerry HochbaumArranged according to...
11/13/2019
The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership - OU Press

New from OU Press and KTAV

The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership
by Dr. Jerry Hochbaum

Arranged according to the parshiyot of the Torah, The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership is far from a conventional “parashat hashavua” compendium. It is a fascinating exploration and distillation of the Torah’s views on leadership.

Through a lifetime of involvement in Jewish communal work, Rabbi Dr. Jerry Hochbaum experienced first-hand the nature of leadership in the Jewish community. A prominent professor of sociology at Yeshiva University, he also worked with the National Jewish Community Council and was Executive Vice President of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture where his major priority was the organization of a leadership development program for the global Jewish community. The leadership issues that Rabbi Dr. Hochbaum encountered in the real world echoed for him in the Torah’s narratives of human interaction and the development and growth of the Jewish people.

Combining a novel approach with sensitivity and insight, The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership rewards the reader with a fresh view of the weekly parashah.

https://oupress.org/product/hidden-light/

Arranged according to the parshiyot of the Torah, The Hidden Light: Biblical Paradigms for Leadership is far from a conventional “parashat hashavua” compendium. It is a fascinating exploration and distillation of the Torah’s views on leadership.

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer BereishisParshas #Vayeiraוַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה - Now the Lord appeard to h...
11/12/2019
Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Bereishis - OU Press

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Bereishis

Parshas #Vayeira

וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה - Now the Lord appeard to him

There are other occasions when God appears to Abraham וַיֵּרָא יְהֹוָה אֶל אַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר, The Lord appeard to Abram, and he said (וַיֹּאמֶר) (12:7) Again, after Abraham won the battle with the kings, הָיָה דְבַר יְהֹוָה אֶל אַבְרָם בַּמַּחֲזֶה לֵאמֹר, The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying (לֵאמֹר)(15:1). And then, וַיֵּרָא יְהֹוָה אֶל אַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, God appeared (וַיֵּרָא) to Abram, and he said to him (וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו) (17:1). He appeared to him, He revealed Himself and told him something, commanded him or promised him or enlightened him—a message was delivered.

What attracts our attention to this verse is the absence of the vayomer, the absence of a message. What was the purpose of the revelation? What objective was God seeking; what did He tell him? Another difference: none of the preceding verses describing God’s appearances to Abraham use the pronoun אֵלָיו. Abraham is previously always referred to by name.

Rashi says וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו, He appeared to him in order to visit the sick. God paid Abraham a sick call because he was in pain after his circumcision. Rabbi Chama ben Chanina said that it was the third day following the circumcision, when the pain is most severe, and the Almighty appeared to ask about his state of health (Bava Metzi’a 86b).

Abraham was in need, and God came to visit him. There is no וַיֹּאמֶר, no message, no command, no law, no promise. God simply came to see him. If two individuals are close friends, sharing a sense of intimacy and companionship, one need not have a message to deliver in order to walk into the other’s home. The highest form of friendship does not require words. Before this visit, the relationship between God and Abraham was a formal one; it did not involve friendship. There was a contractual relationship between employer and employee, between master and servant. Every וַיֵּרָא was accompanied by a וַיֹּאמֶר. But after Abraham was circumcised and the covenant established, there was a new intimacy, a new kind of friendship—one that did not have to be expressed in words, did not need speech or a message.

The use of אֵלָיו similarly demonstrates this change. As long as the relationship is a formal one it is guided by the rules of courtesy. Formality requires mentioning the name. But when we visit a friend, there is no need for the name. The structure of the verb and subject in this verse is another indication of this. In the Bible, the verb and the subject usually are not separated. If וַיֵּרָא is the verb and God is the subject, the verse should have read וַיֵּרָא יְהֹוָה אֵלָיו, not וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו יְהֹוָה. By reversing the subject and the object, the Torah emphasizes that Abraham was very close to God, that God longed to see him.

Up to this point we have been reading the story of Avraham avdi, Abraham the servant of God. From Parashas Vayeira on is a new story: a new tale is introduced, the story of Abraham the friend of God (Is. 41:8). God came to Abraham lish’ol bishlomo, to inquire after his health, to show friendship
and involvement.

The pioneering Chumash Mesoras HaRav series contains the full text of Chumash together with the exceptional commentary of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. #Soloveitchik. Chumash Mesoras HaRav adapts the Rav’s writings and teachings into a commentary that reflects his intellectual depth, explanatory creativity, and timeless insight.

https://oupress.org/product/chumash-mesoras-harav-sefer-bereishis/

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the “Rav,” was the towering rabbinic thinker of the 20th century. As part of the wellspring of his Torah knowledge, he taught, wrote, and lectured extensively on Chumash with profound insight and brilliant creativity. The Rav, however, never wrote a systematic comme...

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer BereishisParshas #LechLechaלְאַבְרָם הָעִבְִרי - Abram the HebrewRashi expla...
11/05/2019
Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Bereishis - OU Press

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Bereishis

Parshas #LechLecha

לְאַבְרָם הָעִבְִרי - Abram the Hebrew

Rashi explains that the term עִבְִרי means that he came from the other side of the river, מֵעֵבֶר הַנָהָר. Abraham’s origin was Ur of the Chaldees; he was an immigrant to Canaan. The question arises, however, why are the people described as Hebrews forever? Why is God called the God of the Hebrews (Ex. 3:18)? Why did the prophet Jonah, for example, identify himself as a Hebrew (Jon. 1:9)? Apparently, the term “Hebrew” is more than a geographical designation. “Hebrew” became the symbol of Judaism, of the faith of our nation. According to the Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 42:8), Abraham is called Hebrew because he stands מֵעֵבֶר אֶחָד "on one side” while the rest of the world stands on the other side. Abraham took the vision of the Creator, of a new world order and a new morality, and thus separated himself from the rest of the world ideologically. His descendants continue to carry that title. The Jews have crossed many rivers, lived in many lands, but in the spiritual sense we have remained rooted over the river, on the other side, with a heritage of sanctity and purity

The pioneering Chumash Mesoras HaRav series contains the full text of Chumash together with the exceptional commentary of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. #Soloveitchik. Chumash Mesoras HaRav adapts the Rav’s writings and teachings into a commentary that reflects his intellectual depth, explanatory creativity, and timeless insight.

https://oupress.org/product/chumash-mesoras-harav-sefer-bereishis

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the “Rav,” was the towering rabbinic thinker of the 20th century. As part of the wellspring of his Torah knowledge, he taught, wrote, and lectured extensively on Chumash with profound insight and brilliant creativity. The Rav, however, never wrote a systematic comme...

#ShabbatShalomExcerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin's "Unlocking the Torah Text - Bereish*t:"Parashat #NoachThe cautionary ...
11/01/2019
Parshat Noach: Between Individual and Community: Societal Balance

#ShabbatShalom
Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin's "Unlocking the Torah Text - Bereish*t:"

Parashat #Noach

The cautionary tales of Parshat Noach remind us of the difficult task that confronts any society as it attempts to address the potentially conflicting needs – that of the individual and that of the community.

https://www.ou.org/oupress/excerpts/noach-societal-balance/

The cautionary tales of Parshat Noach remind us of the difficult task that confronts any society the needs of the individual and the needs of the community.

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer #Bereishis Parshas #Noachוַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלהִים אֶת -  And God remembered NoahT...
10/29/2019
Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Bereishis - OU Press

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer #Bereishis

Parshas #Noach

וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלהִים אֶת - And God remembered Noah

This verse is the first cited in the Zichron section of the Rosh Hashanah Musaf liturgy. One theme of Zichronos is Divine Providence. God sees and remembers everything. He is concerned simultaneously with the universe as a whole, as well as with each person individually. The moral corollary to this idea is the notion that one should never discount the value of the individual. Just as God exhibits both universal and individual concern, so too should man; one should thus not dedicate all his efforts on behalf of communal needs while ignoring individual needs. God is concerned with infinity itself, both in the historical sense, regarding all generations of mankind, and in the physical sense, regarding the boundless cosmos. At the same time, he remains concerned as well with each and every individual. Noah was rescued from the flood for two reasons. First, through Noah, humanity itself was saved. Second, Noah was saved because as an individual he was deserving. Even had humanity been saved by another means, Noah himself would have been spared on his own merits.

The pioneering Chumash Mesoras HaRav series contains the full text of Chumash together with the exceptional commentary of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. #Soloveitchik. Chumash Mesoras HaRav adapts the Rav’s writings and teachings into a commentary that reflects his intellectual depth, explanatory creativity, and timeless insight.

https://oupress.org/product/chumash-mesoras-harav-sefer-bereishis/

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the “Rav,” was the towering rabbinic thinker of the 20th century. As part of the wellspring of his Torah knowledge, he taught, wrote, and lectured extensively on Chumash with profound insight and brilliant creativity. The Rav, however, never wrote a systematic comme...

#ShabbatShalom Excerpted from Rabbi Dr. Norman J. Lamm's "Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages - Genesis:"Bereshi...
10/25/2019
Parshat Beresh*t -- Reflections on the Divine Image | Everyday Jewish Living | OU Press

#ShabbatShalom
Excerpted from Rabbi Dr. Norman J. Lamm's "Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages - Genesis:"

Beresh*t - Reflections on the Divine Image

What does it mean when we say that man was created in the image of God?

https://oupress.org/excerpts/beresh*t-reflections-divine-image/

Excerpted from Rabbi Norman Lamm's Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages -- Genesis   Parashat Beresh*t teaches us one of the most fundamental

#ShabbatShalom Excerpted from Dr. Erica Brown's "Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe:"Day 10: HolinessThe door...
10/04/2019
RETURN: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe -- Day 10: Holiness | Everyday Jewish Living | OU Press

#ShabbatShalom
Excerpted from Dr. Erica Brown's "Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe:"

Day 10: Holiness

The doors to possibility are opening. They are waiting for us to say hineni: I am fully present here, and I can achieve the impossible.

https://oupress.org/excerpts/return-day10-holiness/

Excerpted from Erica Brown’s Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe Day Ten: Holiness “For the sin we committed before You by desecrating the

#ShabbatShalom #RoshHashanaExcerpted from Dr. Erica Brown’s "Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe"Faith demands...
09/27/2019
RETURN: DAILY INSPIRATION FOR THE DAYS OF AWE -- Day 1: Faith

#ShabbatShalom #RoshHashana
Excerpted from Dr. Erica Brown’s "Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe"

Faith demands that we engage in a delicate dance of both relinquishing control to an authority above us and acting within our full human capacity to realize our dreams.

https://oupress.org/excerpts/return-day1-faith/

Faith demands patience in the face of a future we cannot see and the determination to make good things happen. We have to trust in powers greater than ours.

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer DevarimParshas #Nitzavimוַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל לְבָבֶך בְּכָל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הִדִ...
09/24/2019
Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Devarim - OU Press

#TorahTuesday Chumash Mesoras HaRav - Sefer Devarim

Parshas #Nitzavim

וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל לְבָבֶך בְּכָל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הִדִּיחֲך יְהֹוָה אֱלהֶיך שָׁמָּה - you will consider in your heart, among all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you.

Hidiach means to drive one away from home, or as a metaphor, to make him abandon a belief, an opinion, an idea. "Unfaithful men have gone forth from among you, וַיַּדִּיחוּ, and have led astray the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (13:14)." ד-ח-ה signifies moving something from its proper place, or turning over. In short, it is the equivalent of the Greek “katasthrophein,” to turn down or turn over.

Judaism introduced the catastrophic revelation, such as experienced by Job, when God addresses Himself to man through the whirlwind. This doctrine of the catastrophic is most unique in the history of the philosophy of suffering: God’s revelation in the dark night of existence, or—to phrase this idea in paradoxical terms—the revelation of God through His alleged abandonment and absenting Himself from man who finds himself suddenly tête-à-tête with nothingness.

This motif was spelled out in the halachic categories of repentance and prayer. The experience of the catastrophic must find its response in soul searching and prayer. Both teshuvah and tefillah are the outcry of man who has met catastrophe, whose joy and peace of mind are gone. There is no prayer and there is no soul-searching if man does not experience the “great desolation” (as the mystics called it).

In the dedication address by King Solomon, prayer is defined as the response of man to suffering. "Any prayer, any supplication, which will be made by any man, or by all Your people Israel, who shall know every man the affliction of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house (I Kings 8:38)."

"The affliction of his own heart" translates itself into prayer. What is prayer? The dialogue between man and God; they both address themselves to each other. Through the catastrophe, God reveals Himself to man, and man, out of the depths and darkness, calls out and discloses his heart to God. The whole idea of prayer rests upon the premise that God meets man through the latter’s encounter with non-being.

The pioneering Chumash Mesoras HaRav series contains the full text of Chumash together with the exceptional commentary of the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. #Soloveitchik. Chumash Mesoras HaRav adapts the Rav’s writings and teachings into a commentary that reflects his intellectual depth, explanatory creativity, and timeless insight.

https://oupress.org/product/chumash-mesoras-harav-sefer-devarim

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the “Rav,” was the towering rabbinic thinker of the 20th century. As part of the wellspring of his Torah knowledge, he taught, wrote, and lectured extensively on Chumash with profound insight and brilliant creativity. The Rav, however, never wrote a systematic comme...

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