"Where does it say that you have a contract with G-d to have an easy life?"

the Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Failure is not the enemy of success; it is its prerequisite."

Rabbi Nosson Scherman

15 Nov 2018


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14 Nov 2018

Yaakov's ladder

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The Klausenberger Rebbe zt"l says Yaakov's ladder symbolizes the two approaches to self improvement. One way is to decide what you want to improve and map out a plan where you improve step by step until you reach your decided goal. This slow but steady journey has a good chance of success. If you work hard you will ultimately get there. That is what the pasuk says "V'Hinei Sulam Mutzav Artza V'Roishoi Magiah Hashamayma"; if the ladder is planted firmly on the ground, by climbing it one rung at a time you get you all the way as far as the heavens.

The second way is to go straight to the top and immediately begin to act according to your loftiest ideals, like the perfect tzaddik. This method usually ends rather quickly in miserable failure. To this the pasuk says "V'Hinei Malachei Elokim"; if you want to be like a malach right away, then "Olim V'Yordim Boi" you will rise very quickly but you will go right back down just as quick.

13 Nov 2018

Empty handed

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Rashi (Vayeitzei 29:11) brings Chazal who say that Yaakov cried when he saw Roche because he came empty handed without gifts. The reason was because Elifaz was commanded by his father Eisav to kill Yaakov, but since Elifaz was a talmid of Yitzchok he reached a compromise where he left Yaakov penniless which is considered like dead.

The Shnayim Mikra brings in the name of the Steipler Gaon that we see an important lesson from here. Yitzchok invested a great deal of time teaching Elifaz the son of Eisav. For what? So that he will only be a Ganav and not a murderer. The lesson is do not give up on those who are destined to lead lives contrary to the Torah. Even if your teaching can at best minimize the aveiros that he will commit it is still worth it!

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MK Meir Sheetrit, Kadima (Formerly Likud): There is an argument according to which there will be a threat… a threat and a fleeing… a threat on the Negev communities… I have never before heard such a ridiculous argument

MK Ran Cohen, Meretz: The disengagement is good for security. The right wing people stood here and talked about Kassams flying from here to there… I'm telling you, whoever wants to spare not only Sderot but also Ashkelon, both of them, must understand: if we don't go out of the Gaza Strip in two or three years, maybe after one year, the range will reach Ashkelon.

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11 Nov 2018

The Closest Connection

When Yaakov woke from his dream, he realized he was in a Makom Kadosh, Yerushalayim. He appropriately named the place Bais Kel, the house of Hashem. The pasuk (Vayeitzei 28:19) tells us that the original name was Luz. Rabbeinu Bachaye asks why is this relevant to us?

He answers that the pasuk is hinting to the fact that Yerushalayim was the beginning of creation, and the rest of the world continued from there. Luz, he explains based on the Medrash (Vayikra Rabba 18:1), is the bone in our spine that we will be recreated from during Techiyas HaMeisim. Just like the original wondrous creation started from Luz, so too will the miracle of Techiyas HaMeisim will start from Yerushalayim, for Yerushalayim is the center on Hashem's universe, and the closest connection to Heaven.

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Terribly shaken

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מצמרר: תמונות חדשות נחשפו מליל הבדולח

"Mah Pishi U'Mah Chatosi Ki Dalakta Acharai.," (Vayeitzei 31:36) When Lavan caught up with Yaakov and accused him of stealing his idols Yaakov asked, "What is my sin that you chased after me?

Rav Meir Shapiro explains this as Yaakov giving Mussar to himself. Yaakov was terribly shaken by Lavan's behavior. As soon as Lavan found out his idols were missing, he takes off like a madman with all his men to chase Yaakov, who Chazal tell us, were much stronger than Lavan and could have easily killed him and his group. Yet Lavan did not care. His idols were stolen and he would stop at nothing to get them back.

Yaakov saw this crazed behavior and said, "Mah Chatosi? How guilty am I?" Now you have set such a high benchmark of Mesiras Nefesh for your religion. "KiDalakta Acharai; That you chased me with suicidal fervor." My Mesiras Nefesh does not compare, and for this I will need to answer!