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


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