A Stranger on the Way to Egypt

Posted by on Nov 28, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The patriarch Ya’akov had now entered upon his father’s inheritance after his return from Mesopotamia, and the narrator of our story felt the necessity to begin with the genealogy of Ya’akov telling us know that his son Yoseph was seventeen years old. This strange beginning of the narrative with Ya’akov’s favorite son and especially with the notice of his age is introduced here with reference to the principal topic in the story: the sale of...

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The Most Contested Piece of Land

Posted by on Nov 22, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Great Britain governed Palestine from 1922 until 1947. Since 1922, Jewish immigration to Palestine had increased, and therefore the tensions between Arabs and Jews to become the most contested piece of land. While the European Jewry and the Jews in Palestine supported the war against the Nazi Germany and even participated in it, the Arabs openly lined up with Hitler and more particularly for the extermination of all Jews in Palestine. At that time, the term...

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When Heaven Intervened Once More

Posted by on Nov 14, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The inheritance tensions were central to the development of Israel as a nation. First, we witnessed Avraham’s concerns that he would remain childless and his trusted servant Eliezer would inherit him, despite the Covenant YHVH made with Avraham. Then, the strife between Avraham’s wife Sarah and her maidservant: Who would be the matriarch of the family, and who would inherit Avraham: Ishmael or Yitschak. By sending away Ishmael, Sarah secured the line of...

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Did Yitschak Allow to Be Deceived in His Blessing?

Posted by on Nov 8, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The motive of a mother advocating on behalf of her son is found in two biblical stories of the matriarchs of the nation of Israel. After Yitschak was molested by Ishmael, Sarah urged Avraham to send Hagar away along with her son, so only her son Yitschak would inherit, according to the promise. After Sarah’s ultimatum that Hagar and her son be expelled, Avraham became grieved, but YHVH advised him to listen to his wife. Rivkah, the new matriarch of the family, too...

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Avraham gained righteousness but lost a son

Posted by on Oct 31, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The story of offering Yitschak as a human sacrifice is perhaps the most discussed part of the entire Scripture. Avraham had longed to have a son such as Yitzchak for twenty-five years. When he was finally born, his love for him must have grown from year to year. But when he was suddenly commanded to sacrifice his son with his own hands, he must have felt in a state of uncertainty. And who would not have? But Avraham did not hesitate or challenge the command or even ask for...

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Ishmael and Israel: Rivalry and Accord

Posted by on Oct 23, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Ishmael and Israel are the sons of Avraham and the founding fathers of two great nations. Each of them fathered twelve sons, who became the backbones of two peoples: Arabs and Israelites. While Ishmael and Israel took two quite different and even opposite turns in their development as nations, they share some common traits. As sons of the common ancestor Avraham, they have much in common. Both nations are regarded as Semites, the descendants of Shem son of Noach, and as...

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Readiness and Patience as Virtues of Faith

Posted by on Oct 18, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Readiness to do the will of the Most High and patience in the endurance of doing it are virtues of faith that have been intentionally or negligently left out. In this introduction to Readiness and Patience as Virtues of Faith we would like to clarify certain ideas that have not been entertained at all or too little, and whose depths have not been perceived. In order to clarify this issue in its entirety, we must initially make some inquiries about two colossal minds in the...

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The Unknown Mothers of the Tribes of Israel

Posted by on Dec 15, 2020 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Who are the mothers of the tribes of Israel and what do we know about them? We know much about Sarah, Rivkah, Leah, and Rachel, the recognized and honored matriarchs of Israel. Sadly, little honor is given to the other wives of the patriarch Ya’akov, the forgotten Bilhah and Zilpah, to the point that they are rarely mentioned and hardly recognized as matriarchs of Israel, as Leah and Rachel are. But how much do we know about the unknown mothers of the tribes of...

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How Leah destined the priesthood of Levi

Posted by on Nov 26, 2020 in The Patriarchs' Saga

How many people know that the unloved wife of Ya’akov Leah spoke prophetically and thus destined the priesthood of her third son Levi? All the other eleven children of Ya’akov were named by their mothers, as it is written “And she called his name”. The exception is with the youngest of Ya’akov’s sons whom Rachel called Ben-Oni “son of my sorrow”, but Ya’akov called him by the name Binyamin “son of the right hand”. But in Gen 29:34,...

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The Mistakes Avraham Made

Posted by on Nov 25, 2020 in Hebrew Study, The Patriarchs' Saga

The patriarch Avraham made two mistakes in his life, even three. Two of these mistakes cost his descendants a great deal of trouble. Had Avraham listened carefully to words of the Creator the history of the world would have been quite different. And I shall make you a great nation, and bless you and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing! And I shall bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you. And in you all the families of the earth shall be grafted...

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The Secret Joseph Kept All His Life

Posted by on Apr 8, 2020 in The Patriarchs' Saga

There is a secret Yoseph (Joseph) kept all his life. He was the favorite son of his father Ya’akov from his beloved wife, who dreamed two prophetic dreams about the family. But those dreams were not the secret Joseph kept in his heart. What was that secret Joseph kept, because the Torah tells us nothing about it? Ya’akov’s sons sold Yoseph in slavery in Egypt and he would not see him for 22 years until they were once again united. We should notice a...

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The Forgotten Matriarchs of Israel

Posted by on Jan 5, 2020 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Who are the forgotten matriarchs of Israel, and why have they been forgotten in the first place? Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel are the matriarchs of Israel and they have their honorable place in the nation’s history, as every Shabbat in the synagogues around the world the Jewish women are blessed in the name of “Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel”: “May the Lord make you like Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah!” But why only in the names of the four...

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