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Vayeitzei

Sleep On It
For the entire fourteen years that Jacob was secluded in the study house of Eber, he did not lie down. Nor did he lay himself to sleep for the 20 years he labored over Laban's sheep. In between, he spent one night at the holiest place on earth -- "and he lay down in that place" (Genesis 28:11). What is the deeper significance of that single horizontal night in 34 vertical years?
Climbing the Ladder
According to the ancient mystics, all actions of man -- indeed all workings of creation -- derive from two general forces: love and awe. More specifically, there is "lower awe", "lower love", "higher love", and "higher awe" -- in that order
Somewhere Between Spirituality and Religion
There is truth
Is it a self-improvement thing, like a woodworking class or a therapy session? Is it a duty, like obeying the law of the land and going to work in the morning?
How Pious Should You Be?
"You're holy, but you stink!" That's what the village children would yell at the bechor (first-born animal) who would often be seen wandering about the shtetel...
Seeking the Other
One would think that after all that Rachel had gone through in the last 14 years, there’d be at least a moment of contentment. Isn’t it strange to name your firstborn child “I want another son”?
Gangs of Angels
A famous saying by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov goes: "The physical life of a Jew is a spiritual thing." Sounds great, but what does it mean?
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