Did Zealotry Save the Jewish People?

There is a famously powerful scene from the story behind the Jewish holiday of Hanukah. “Whoever is for God, come with me!” screamed Mattityahu to the residents of the Modi’in after he killed the Greek soldier who tried to force him to sacrifice an impure animal, and thus the miraculous war began. The truth is, […]

An Angel With No Name

This week’s parsha tells the story of Yaakov’s confrontation with an angel.  Though only a few psukim in length, this narrative is explored deeply by many major commentaries on Chumash.  It is an important story for several agreed upon reasons.  Yaakov Avinu is given a new name for the first time.  We can also gain knowledge […]

Living Up to Our Name

Think about your name.  Does it say something about who you are?  Do you feel connected to it?  Have you ever chosen a new name for yourself or wished you had been given a different one? Jewish tradition believes that a name reflects an element of the human spirit to which it belongs.  In Parshat […]

A Parsha of Many Plot Lines

Parshat Vayeitzei presents a particularly problematic puzzle for those trying to pinpoint one main message the Torah seeks to relay. Before we can extrapolate a message though, we need to first make sure we really understand the story. We’ve all heard about how Ya’akov gets stuck on a hilltop by nightfall, takes a bunch of […]

A Question of Action

My internship is located in NYC and every time I go in, it’s an adventure. I always end up with at least one story from each of my weekly excursions and since this week’s tale finds relevance to Parshat Toldot, I decided to share it with you. I walked up the stairs from the deep […]