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Editor's Note: My Weather versus Your Weather

Dear Friend,

It's rare that turning on the radio brings a smile to one's face. But while driving a few nights ago, I was amused when one of the top stories was about the bitter cold hitting parts of the U.S. They were interviewing some poor guy in Michigan who was breathlessly retelling how his thermometer even hit 19 degrees Fahrenheit!

Glancing down at my own temperature gauge, I couldn’t help but smile upon seeing that it was well into the single digits and barely making the local news here in Minnesota.

This week we learn about how, after toiling for his treacherous father-in-law, Laban, for twenty years, Jacob decides it’s time to travel back home. After a confrontation between him and Laban, Jacob proclaims that if not for the fact that G‑d was with him throughout the twenty year ordeal, he could not have flourished through all the treachery and tricks Laban tried to play on him.

Like the weather, we all have our own unique obstacles, and what is easy for one, is hard for another. But knowing that G‑d is always with us, we know that even if it takes twenty years, ultimately we will succeed.

Yehuda Shurpin
on behalf of the Editorial Team

P.S. You may notice a change in this week’s magazine. For the past many years, we’ve featured the Parshah in a Nutshell every week—and it’s been very popular. This week, we’ve replaced it with the Parshah in Depth. What do you think? Which do you prefer? Please share your feedback in the comments. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

A Tale of Two Very Different Sisters

They were sisters but also rivals—married to the same man, competing for his affection and for the privilege of bearing his children.
Are the Jewish People Sheeple?

The Torah reading of Vayeitzei is veritably glutted with sheep: white sheep, dark sheep, spotted sheep, speckled sheep, sheep with rings around their ankles; Jacob cares for sheep, receives his wages in sheep, breeds sheep, dreams of sheep, amasses a fortune of sheep . . .
Learn the Parshah In Depth with Commentary
A condensation of the weekly Torah portion alongside select commentaries culled from the Midrash, Talmud, Chassidic masters, and the broad corpus of Jewish scholarship.
First Person
My Journey from Kuwaiti Arab to Jerusalemite Jew

It was only yesterday that I wore a white dish-dasha, and now I sport a kipah.
Mourning in Har Nof
Will the War on Terror Ever End?

But there was another martyr in this attack, an Israeli policeman by the name of Zidan Saif.
The View from Har Nof

Even as we go about the motions of living life, our thoughts are constantly with our dear friends who have lost their lives.
The Har Nof Synagogue Massacre
Our nation cries together as one. Here we've collected news, articles, tributes and more related to the terrible events of last week.
Your Questions
Where Can I Apply to Become a Chabad Emissary?

Of the hundreds of e-mails we receive every day at, many are from adventuresome, idealistic young men and women seeking to work at a Chabad house in an exotic location.
You're Madly in Love

In two months she's getting married. What should I do? I am still convinced that she is the only one in the world for me
Miri Meets the Transport Angels

Miri gets a hi-tech lesson on “How Do Prayers Work?” We’re still waiting for the app.
The Unsung Heroes of the Chabad Underground in the Soviet Union

Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein shares his story at the International Conference of Chabad Emissaries, 5775.
The Significance of Tefillah

This class examines the importance of prayer, its biblical and historical origins, and the Jewish view on material requests. We conclude with explaining the first prayer upon waking in the morning.
Be Like a Redwood
The Code of Jewish Law rules: “All your actions should be for the sake of Heaven” and “In all your ways, know G-d.” This instruction is not referring to the commandment. “Your actions” means the personal activities that you choose to do, and “Your ways” means the personal path you choose in life. Even these pursuits have a deeper intent and purpose, in the words of the Mishna: “I was created only to serve my Maker.”
From Dutch Theater to Challah Workshops

Smadar Morag used to try hard to hide her Judaism, which she considered a burden . . .
The Greatest Gift

I stood there, in the NICU ward, looking at my baby, hooked up to monitors, oxygen and constantly beeping machines, only minutes after his surgery at a mere nine hours old.
The Miser's Slippers

It was a cold and miserable night, snow and sleet blew through the deserted streets. The miser asked the rabbi in, as usual. But the rabbi refused. "'No," he said, "I won't be long...."
A Connoisseur of Souls

Our Food Blog Celebrates Two Years

with carrot cake and cream cheese frosting. Come taste!
The Torah Goes out from Zion

The curtains have opened and the Torah is shining. Zion is a concept. It is a place. It is a sign and it is our home. This painting began as a landscape, painted in earth tones of the hills surrounding Jerusalem.
Jewish News
Celebration and Inspiration Resonate at Annual Chabad Gala

Some 5,200 rabbis and guests focused on the Rebbe’s ongoing influence at the annual banquet of the Kinus Hashluchim, the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries.
The Extensive Reach of the Rebbe’s Emissaries: It’s Never Been Greater

As they gather for the annual convention in New York, a look at how Chabad has flourished in North America
Miami Jewish Life and Chabad Engagement Are Booming

New Federation study shows Miami is sizzling when it comes to Jewish demographics
The wicked in their lifetimes are called "dead"; the righteous in death are called "living."
— Talmud, Berachot 18