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


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. 


Next week is Passover, and I can think of no better introduction to the festival of our liberation than to report to you on our recent speaking trip to Baku.  


This week we say “goodbye” to the Patriarchs. “When Jacob finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet onto the bed; he expired and was gathered to his people.” (Genesis 49:33) 


"When Jacob finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet onto the bed; he expired and was gathered to his people." (Genesis 49:33) So ends an era. But the influence of the Patriarchs is so powerful that it remains with their children until the end of time. All of our prayers begin with the words, "G-d of Abraham, G-d of Isaac and G-d of Jacob...



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