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January 2018 - Upcoming Events

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Visit For Shabbos

rabbi's message

RABBI’S MESSAGE

The setting is legendary: Yitzchak Avinu decides it is time to bless his firstborn, Esav, and he asks his son to capture game and prepare a meal. While Esav is out hunting, Rivka, Esav’s mother and Yitzchak’s wife, makes her move. She pressures her other son, Yaakov, to dress in his brother’s clothing so that he can appear in front of his father and be successful in assuming the identity of Esav, and thereby receive the special berachos from Yitzchak. There are numerous questions one could ask regarding this story, but I would like to focus on perhaps the most famous pasuk in this narrative, on Yitzchak’s announcement of “The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esau.

The Maharal of Prague (R. Judah Loewe; 1526-1609) suggests that a voice reflects a person’s “insides,” the essence of that individual. The hands represent the outer manifestation, how we interact with, and impact on the world. The lesson being that sometimes Yaakov must assume the role of Esav. As disdainful as it was and continues to be, occasionally the children of Yaakov, following their forefather’s precedent, must act in a fashion normally associated with the offspring of Esav. We are compelled to trade in the hands of the “ish tam yosheiv ohalim” – the innocent man, whose place is in the hall of study, for the hands of the “ish yodai’a tzayid, ish sadeh” – the man who knows hunting, a man of the field. However, even as we exchange outer garb and even actions, the voice, our essence must never change. Our kol must always remain the kol Yaakov.

Have a great Shabbos.

P.S. Special welcome to our Scholar In Reisdence this Shabbos, Rav Benjamin Blech shlita, and his wife, Elaine.

Special thank you to Lori and Joe Feldman for sponsoring Rav Blech’s visit, in memory of their parents,

Mark and Nina Feldman ob”m.

 

BS”D

 

Sun, December 10 2017 22 Kislev 5778