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ב"ה

Parasha Insights

A PRISONER TURNS TO BE A PRIME MINISTER

The other day a young man told me about a call he'd recently received from a charity asking to donate some clothes to starving people throughout the world. 
He told them to get out of his life and never again ask him for his clothes.

"You see," he said, "anybody who fits into my clothes isn’t starving!"

In this week's portion, Vayeshev, at the age of 17, Joseph, the beloved child of our Patriarch Jacob, is snatched by his own brothers, thrown into a pit, and ultimately sold as a slave. Under the natural course of events, he would have remained a slave for the remainder of his life. However, in his Egyptian master's home, he was accused of seduction and attempted rape, and put into a prison. He spent… Read More »

A TALE OF TWO PRINCES

No English dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED. However, in a recent linguistic conference held in London, England, and attended by some of the best linguists in the world, Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese, was the clear winner.

The final question put to him was this: Some say there is no difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED. Please explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand.

Here was his answer: "When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE. But, when you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED. And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!"

Jacob had settled on the outskirts of the… Read More »

WHO WAS THE FIRST JEWISH FAMILY?

The local Hebrew School decided to observe Chanukah with a special ecumenical celebration and invited everyone in the neighborhood, or whatever background, to participate in any way they thought appropriate, or to just come and observe, and have some home-baked cookies washed down with grape juice or heavy super-sweet wine.

There were speeches, dramatizations, and miscellaneous musical performances. At one point Mrs. Goldberg, in the third row, wiped away a tear as her little Miriam scratched out a hesitant rendition of "Havanu Sholom Aleichem" on a shiny new violin. Mrs. Goldberg noticed that a man seated next to her also had tears running down his face.

"Isn't it wonderful", she said to him, "to know that our… Read More »

I AM PROUD OF MY SARAH

A father once told me that his young son came to him and said, “Pa, I have a date Saturday night.” “Good,” says the father. “Who’s going to stand in the way? A young man has a date, he has a date.”

“But I have problems,” says the son. “I ran out of my allowance. Maybe you could kind of, you know, advance me a little bit of next week’s allowance?”

“How much?”

“Well Pa, today you take out a girl, you need $200.”

Anyway, the father advances the son on his allowance. But it’s not enough. “Pa,” says the son, “today you can’t take a girl on the bus or the subway, and you can’t walk on the street... so can I… Read More »

DO YOU LIVE A LIFE OF DIGNITY?

A Hasidic man, with a long beard, payes (ear locks), a long black coat, and shtreiml (the traditional fur hat worn by Chassidic Jews), walks into a bar with a multi-colored parrot on his shoulder.

The bartender says: "Where'd you get that?"

The parrot replies: "Brooklyn.  There are thousands of them."

This week’s Parshat Chayei Sarah tells the story of how Abraham has sent his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Isaac.

He goes to the city of Charan where Abraham's family remained while he went on to the land of Canaan. Arriving at the town's well, he proposes a test: the woman who comes to draw water, offers some to the traveler, and in addition gives water to his camels will be the one chosen… Read More »

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