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? 


“Rabbi Isaac said: Why were our forefathers infertile? Because the Holy One Blessed is He desires the prayers of the righteous” (Yevamos 64a).


During the second summer of our marriage, when we were still in college, my wife and I were employed as fire lookouts in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. We lived in a mountaintop cabin 9,000 feet above sea level and our view extended 150 miles in all directions, taking in thousands of forested acres. That summer there were two small fires and the world seemed normal. 


In a certain study hall in Jerusalem, there was a Rabbi who would continually pace up and down between the lecterns, carrying on an intense conversation in learning … with himself! This was a delightful and sometimes amusing spectacle. As he paced, however, he was also aware of his surroundings. One day, I was explaining to my study partner my personal criterion for a good leader of the prayers, namely that he should make me cry. 


The Torah portion of Bereishis described how Hashem made a perfect world. This week’s Parsha describes how man can destroy it! I regret to say this (although everyone knows it): today’s world resembles Sodom a lot more than the Garden of Eden. But Hashem has limited tolerance for the destruction of His world. What happened to Sodom is very relevant to us today. 



Recent Posts


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