Showing posts from December, 2019

Miketz Sermon

בס"ד Miketz Sermon — From the Rebbe’s Torah — Begin with joke: Officer: “Sir, have you been drinking?” Motorist: “No, officer. Nope. No way. I’m a non-drinker now. I gave up drinking and I haven’t touched a drop since.” Officer: “That’s great to hear, sir. Congratulations!” Motorist: “Thank you, officer. Yep, best decision of my life.” Officer: “That’s really good to hear, sir. How long’s it been for you?” Motorist: “Gosh, um, ten… eleven minutes or so.” Free choice is what defines humankind. Animals know how to take care of themselves; they can show affection; they can strategize how to fell their prey; but, with all due respect to animals, they can’t really get philosophical. If they get a strong urge to do something not good, they can’t stop themselves by realizing that what they would like to do is immoral. If they are threatened or screamed at, they may stop, but that is their instinct for self-preservation kicking in; it’s not that they came to the realizatio

Vayeshev Sermon

בס"ד Vayeshev Sermon — From the Rebbe’s Torah — Begin with joke: I got caught cheating on my physics exam. Furious, my professor said to me "I hope you understand the gravity of the situation". But if I had known that, I wouldn't be in this situation in the first place. Situation which are hard for us... things we’re not used to... subjects we don’t like — should we deal with them in the first place? We know that G-d intentionally gave us a certain nature, so that we should use it in his service. But what if a tough situation arises when our behaving within our nature cannot do the trick? Does that mean that we are exempt of this particular challenge? Should we say that if G-d gave us a nature which is not productive in this situation, this means that we can bow out of this one? We’ll hopefully have our answer by the end of this sermon. In this week’s parsha, Vayeshev, we learn how Yaakov favored Yosef and created a special multi colored coat for him. This did n

Vayishlach Sermon

בס"ד Vayishlach Sermon  — From the Rebbe’s Torah — Begin with joke: “Two lions were eating an entitled person” One says to the other, "Does this taste a bit spoiled?" Should we feel entitled to G-d blessings? There are different ways to look at it, and we’ll hopefully have our complete answer by the end of this sermon. This week’s parsha discusses Yaakov’s traveling home, from Charan, the city to which he traveled in last week’s parsha. On the way, he had to deal with his big brother, Esav. Esav was still mad that Yaakov snuck “his” blessings for himself, and wished to be rid of him. Yaakov had three plans ready with which to confront his brother. 1. He prepared for war. 2. He Prayed. And 3. He prepared presents. In his prayer, he explained to G-d why was afraid. He said that he fears that he had used up his merits, through which he would merit a miracle: “For with my staff I crossed this Jordan River, and now I have become two camps.” What was Yaa

Vayetze Sermon

בס"ד Vayetze Sermon — From the Rebbe’s Torah — Begin with joke: A man is now able to go across the United States in eight hours . . . four hours for flying, and the other four to get to the airport. This week's parsha is all about being on the road. Traveling can be rough. Our parsha begins with the words: וַיֵּצֵ֥א יַֽעֲקֹ֖ב מִבְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ חָרָֽנָה: And Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, and he went to Charan. Yaakov leaves his home, staying away for 22 years. He goes through a lot over there. Then he makes the trip back home, with his father-in-law trying to stop him enroute. The first stage was when Yaakov left his home in Be’er Sheva and traveled to Charan. He did this at the behest of his father Yitzchak, who told him: ק֥וּם לֵךְ֙ פַּדֶּ֣נָ֥ה אֲרָ֔ם בֵּ֥יתָה בְתוּאֵ֖ל אֲבִ֣י אִמֶּ֑ךָ וְקַח־לְךָ֤ מִשָּׁם֙ אִשָּׁ֔ה מִבְּנ֥וֹת לָבָ֖ן אֲחִ֥י אִמֶּֽךָ: Arise, go to Padan aram, to the house of Besuel, your mother's father, and take yourself from th