Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Parashah Roundup: Vayeshev/Chanukah 5769

by Steve Brizel

The Religious Uniqueness of Living and Studying Torah in the Land of Israel

  • R. Aharon Lichtenstein, in large part based on a conversation with Rav Yitzchak Hutner zt"l, urges us to strive to attain the unique religious awareness that can only be acquired by living in the Land of Israel: link

  • Yaakov Avinu, Yosef and His Brothers
  • Rav Soloveitchik zt"l explains the role of Mechiras Yosef in implementing the Bris Bein HaBesarim: link
  • R. Baruch Simon, based on an alternative reading in Chazal and the teachings of R. Yonasan Eibeshitz, suggests that the favoritism of Yaakov and Yosef and the dispute between Yosef and the brothers is dependent on whether one deems thought (i.e. Yaakov's love of Rachel) or action (Yosef's brothers) as paramount as the cause of the dispute beween Yosef and the brothers and Yaakov's desire to live “bshalva.” and a Dvar Torah of R. Benjamin Blech that good intentions are insufficient in a world where we are judged by our actions: link (audio)
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  • R. Yissocher Frand, based on the Rokeach and the insights of R. Matisyahu Solomon, suggests that what appear as the mistakes of Yaakov, Yosef and his brothers was in reality the execution of the Divine Plan: link
  • R. Berel Wein highlights the philosophical and psychological differences between the views of Yosef and his brothers: link
  • R. Ephraim Buchwald explores the multiple aspects of the personality of Yosef: link
  • R. Kenneth Brander, based upon the teachings of Rav Soloveitchik zt"l, reminds us that the Parshah and Haftorah teach us that we must celebrate Ahavas Chinam and that redemption will only be achieved when we realize that we are our own worst enemies: link
  • R. Baruch Simon explores the unique Mesorah that Yosef received from Yaakov: link (audio)
  • R. David Horwitz reminds us that even unsucessful effort has a positive value: link

  • Yosef's Dreams
  • R. Yitzchak Etshalom explains the connections between Yosef's dreams and his reaction to the dreams of the Chief Baker and Chief Butler: link
  • R. Dovid Gottlieb explores the halachic significance of dreams: link (audio)

  • The Midrashic Views of the Locale of the Sale of Yosef
  • R. Yaakov Medan highlights different views in the Midrash as to where the events leading to the sale of Yosef occurred and their significance: link

  • The Teshuvah of Reuven
  • R. Jonathan Sacks suggests that Reuven is a model for us to transform ourselves from the person we might have been into the person we became via our own efforts: link

  • Yehudah and Tamar
  • R. Mosheh Lichtenstein explains why the episode of Yehudah and Tamar seemingly interrupts the Torah's description of the sale of Yosef: link
  • R. Asher Brander shows us why the repentance of Yehudah earns him the rights to the monarchy: link

  • Hilchos Yichud
  • R. Elyakim Koenigsberg discusses the halachic and hashkafic bases of Hilchos Yichud: link (audio)

  • Yosef and Jewish Destiny
  • R. Avigdor Nevenzal reminds us that Yosef teaches us that every Jew must resist the lure of foreign cultures: link
  • R. Zvi Sobolofsky explains why Yosef inspires every Jew to link his or her destiny with the Jewish People: link

  • Shoalim v Dorshim Department
  • Rav Soloveitchik zt"l explains Hilchos Channukah: link
  • R. Hershel Schachter discusses the relationship between Channukah and the Beis HaMikdash and the connection between the Second and Third Temples: link 1 (audio), link 2 (audio)
  • R. Asher Weiss discusses the halachic aspects of Hadlakas Ner Channukah in shuls: link
  • R. Avishai David explores Pirsumei Nisa and Zmanim of Channukah: link (audio)
  • R. Aharon Lichtenstein contrasts Jewish and Greek values and culture: link

  • Last year's roundup: link

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