Vayechi -The Eternal Life in This World


Translation by Yaakov Tzemach

The Days Don’t Pass

Each encounter with death emboldens the notion that death is infinite and eternal, leaving man to contemplate the temporal and finite nature of life. These feelings could lead one to belittle this world, based on the assumption that this world is merely a stepping stone to true life, the life that comes after death.

The Zohar on Parshat Vayechei, through discussing Yaakov’s death, reveals the secret of eternal life. Eternal life

Miketz - A Portrait of Yosef


A Portrait of Yosef

Tranlation by Yaakov Tzemach

In last week’s parsha, Yosef hit rock bottom. He was thrown in a pit, sold into slavery and, when he finally seemed to recover, lost everything as he was thrown in jail on an a false accusation of adultery. But in Parshat Miketz, Yosef’s life takes on a new direction. Yosef rises to greatness and becomes second in power to Pa’aro in the Land of Egypt. He marries a girl of high social stature and has two children with her. The names he

Parshat Vayishlach: Finding Blessing in Suffering



Translated by Yaakov Tzemach


Dr. Rachel Remen, a pioneer of integrative medicine in the United States, has cared for many patients with severe illness. She, herself, has lived with chronic illness since she was a young girl. Her experiences in the medical world from both sides have given her deep insight into the human psyche. As doctor she discovered that coping with the physical elements of disease pales in comparison to the emotional struggle of the patient. The

Parshat Vayetza: Me and my Ego



Translated Yaakov Tzemach

One night along his journey to Charan, Yaakov dreamt of a ladder whose top reached the heavens and upon which divine angels climbed up and down.  The dream brought Yaakov to a spiritual realization: “And Yaakov awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Indeed God is in this place –  v'anochi lo yadaati –  and I, I did not know.’”    In, “God Was in This Place and I, I Did Not Know: Finding Self, Spirituality and Ultimate Meaning,”

Toldot - Do the Ends Sanctify the Means



Translated by Netzach Sapir


Machiavelli famously posited that the ends justify the means. This claim is responsible for much of the evil the world has known. One example of the perversion inherent in this attitude can be seen in the way many western intellectuals related to Communism over the course of the twentieth century. Though they saw themselves as humanists and lovers of mankind, these intellectuals chose to support the Soviet Union despite the atrocities that

Chayei Sarah- Om and Shalom in Avraham’s Tent


Translated by Netzach Sapir


Avraham’s life journey comes to a close in Parshat Chayei Sarah. His very name, “Avraham,” hints at the fulfillment of the promise that G-d made him in the previous parsha, that he will be a “father of many nations,” “av hamon goyim” (Bereshit 17:5). Today that promise has been fulfilled. Most of the world’s people – Jews, Christians and Muslims – see Avraham as their forebear, seek to walk in his path, and name their children after