Roy Neuberger - Nov. 30, 2018

My wife and I had been speaking at the University of Michigan. At the Detroit airport, returning to New York, we had to wait for a shuttle bus. There was a man behind the counter, apparently from Haiti. He acted like a functionary, exhibiting no warmth or friendliness. As we left for the bus, I said “Thank you,” and reached out to shake his hand. This gesture had a remarkable effect. He suddenly emerged from behind the counter, bowing to us and smiling.

I continued to speak to him, and said, “May G-d watch over you.” His face lit up. He said, “Yes, yes … G-d!” and followed us, walking through the electronic doorway with us toward the bus, bowing and smiling



This was truly amazing. I saw how a person responds to respect. I saw how non-Jews respond to a blessing from a Jew. At the beginning of the Portion of Vayeitzei Hashem says to our Father Jacob, “all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and by your offspring.” (Genesis 28:14) We should know that all the nations of the world are waiting for our blessing. This is also the import of the message that I described last week when I recounted the powerful statement of U. S. President Harry S. Truman to Rabbi Shlomo Lorincz zt”l.


There is one thing that, G-d forbid, reduces our power to deliver the blessing, and that is when we lose our unity. We know that our present Exile came about as a result of Sinas Chinom, unwarranted hatred between Jew and Jew. We know that we stood at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah only as a result of unity. As Rashi tells us, we were “k’ish echad b’lev echad … as one man with one heart.” (Rashi on Exodus 19:2) That is how we were able to receive the Torah.


In this week’s Torah Portion, the seeds of sinas chinom and disunity are planted. This is where it all begins, with the brothers’ jealousy and hatred of Yosef resulting in his being thrown into the pit and sold to the Ishmaelites. This leads directly to the archetypal Exile in which we descend to Egypt. This is the model for all future Exiles. “Ma’ase Avos siman l’banim … the deeds of the fathers are signs for the children.” (Ramban to Genesis 12:6)


We have relatives in Israel, a family with little children. They live near Ashkelon, which is twenty-seven miles from Gaza. The mommy told us that several weeks ago, during the massive missile attack, she was up all night. They could hear “boom … boom … boom.” The house shook every time a missile landed.


Do we understand this, my friends? Do we understand how isolated we are? The entire world is surrounding us with deadly weapons. We have no friends except our Father and King. Have we learned the lesson of this Parsha?


We need to be “like one man with one heart” in order to survive.


There is no other way, my friends.


The world is waiting for our blessing!


Recent Posts


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