I had been called for jury duty. As I walked into the courthouse, I had no idea what I would hear or see. My briefcase contained holy books and some food. Who knew how long I might have to stay here? I took pains to present an appearance that would properly represent G-d. At least I could try to honor His Name in this challenging environment.  


In the old, old days, long before I became observant, I lived in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a world of wealthy, assimilated Jews who fled the Torah as if it were poison. From nursery all the way through twelfth grade, I attended what was considered an “elite” private school. Our class, numbering about one hundred, was composed almost exclusively of assimilated Jews, with a smattering of others as a result of the school’s liberal philosophy. Feelings of guilt as a result of our comfortable lifestyle made it almost mandatory to include a few non-Jews.  


We have arrived once again at that moment, painful for me, when we leave the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, not to meet again until next year. It is like mourning for one’s parents. How can we go on?

Just who were these angelic but achingly real people? 


We have just participated in one of the most remarkable dramas in the entire Torah. It began in the Torah portion of Vayeshev with Joseph’s dreams, continued through Mikeitz and concludes this week with the words “Ani Yosef … I am Joseph.” This extended scenario, in a way, represents the culmination of the lives of our Patriarchs. This is where the foundation of the entire future relationship among the Children of Israel is established.  



Recent Posts


prophet cries Purim messiah Holiness Rebbe cholent India pray prayer book Ammon Israel persecution Jerusalem Sukkah idol chaos resurrection synagogue Chanukah Sarah liberation Balak mitzvos Hebrew patriarchs'matriarchs Macabees Ashkenazi siddur bird Lunar eclipse Father in Heaven Magog Yom Kippur spies Zechariah Midrash three weeks Jacob yarmulke light sanctity Jeremiah enemies water Miriam brotherhood Abrahem Moses Zion paradise Ten Commandments Nation of Israel Geula Holy Temple Holy Ark creation rabbi Rosh Hashanah Raiders of the Lost Ark Ishmeal Boaz Torah portion Jew Benjamin Blame idolatry Zion, Angel Terror Attack in Jerusalem terror pain Rebecca night compassion United Nations Amalek holiday angels Master of the Universe eternity Babylon biblical gossip Tzuk etan Protective edge Talmud kosher Gog Golden Calf Sukkos Eglon ethics barley esrog locusts deluge heavenly gates shmittah prophets rain sun matzos Repentence Western World Esther sin slaves missiles tears Pharaoh Passover Jewish People America bris milah New Moon Maimonides peace shofar stones terrorists Land of Israel Moshe Ruth kinneret Earth mikveh, Sabbath eternal Day of Judgement Holocaust Lot song Exodus Teshuva Jewish Leah Noah mitzva automobiles darkness Angel of Death stars Shabbos Genesis seder Mount Zion Laban Hasmoneans Esau death soul Babylonia Tisha b'Av Second Temple Abraham Ishmael Bilaam End of Days chessed Mount Sinai Golan Tefillin High Priest Holy land Sages leprosy Moab Galil Samuel the Prophet evolution 2020 Vision menorah Mordechai Isaiah Elul Temple alone Matisyahu exile yeshiva Temple Mount Adam Red Heifer flood Sefiras haOmer High Holy Days moon sacrifices evil Matriarchs Hagar Hashem David Baku dreams Faith Chanukkah culture Sephardi Final redemption king danger Prophecy rosh chodesh tabernacle Tallis minyan Chafetz Chaim Shechina Achashveirosh fear Rome prayer self-worship kiddush Zohar evil inclination commandment redeemer fault Joseph Parsha Tu b'Av Haman Amram Rashi Tu b'Shvat forefathers Psalm Passover Seder Yerushalayim tablets Song of Songs Beit Hamikdash salvation Eve Banias slavery Golus Sabbath Canaan Moshaich Western Wall Day of Atonement survival Samuel Garden of Eden Europe Solomon Greeks Judgement Day Maccabeans plague Edom secret fragrance heaven Sea of Galilee terrorist war mikveh Jewish holidays prayers Red Sea Yaakov violence Mount Hermon spirituality miracles holy bible heavenly throne Torah Sodom Shushan Isaac Moshiach Miraglim miracle Solar eclipse repentance patriarchs spiritual Children of Israel Rabbi Akiva incense God Heavenly Mercy Malbim Dead Sea Shavuos Chofetz Chaim Creator world to come earthquake materialism ancestors Ezekiel Avraham Ishamael G-d angel repent Judah blessing lights Egypt terrorism Rabbis keys Rosh Hashana Aharon logic Jews priests trees judgement Chol haMoed purity King Solomon King David Psalms hubris redemption kesuba Rachel meraglim fires shield of Abraham tremors media Pinchas King of the Universe Judaism Bais Hamikdosh murder Torah scholars Jewish festival Divine presence prophet Samuel