BY RABBI LABEL LAM FOR TORAH.ORG
And the child (Yitzchok) grew and was (vayigmal) weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Yizchok was (higamel) weaned. (Breishis 21:8)
Why did Avraham make such a great celebration to honor the day that Yitzchok did not need to nurse from his mother Sara? Why does the Holy Torah bother to record it? Why did Avraham not make a party or a feast upon any other occasion, like winning the war of the four kings and the five kings? That was certainly a great accomplishment! What was insufficient about that? What’s so great about this?
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
The Courage not to Conform
Leaders lead. That does not mean to say that they don’t follow. But what they follow is different from what most people follow. They don’t conform for the sake of conforming. They don’t do what others do merely because others are doing it. They follow an inner voice, a call. They have a vision, not of what is, but of what might be. They think outside the box. They march to a different tune.
RABBI ALON ANAVA for Atzmut.com
Choose Your Role Models Carefully
The two opinions brought by Rashi do not necessarily disagree regarding Noach’s actual level of righteousness. It’s possible that all agree that in comparison to Avraham, Noach’s righteousness was far from ideal. Nevertheless, Noach was not entirely to blame for that. Had he lived in a more righteous generation, the positive influence of his environment would have assisted him in being even greater than he was. Accordingly, these two opinions are only debating what the Torah seeks to teach and communicate to us by saying that he was “perfect in his generation”.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
The Faith of God
In stately prose the Torah in its opening chapter describes the unfolding of the universe, the effortless creation of a single creative Force. Repeatedly we read, “And God said, Let there be … and there was … and God saw that it was good” – until we come to the creation of humankind. Suddenly the whole tone of the narrative changes:
And God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every moving thing that moves upon the earth.”
Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot
Exodus 33:12-34:26; Maftir Numbers 29:17-22
Rabbi Mark Hillel Kunis for Shaarei Shamayim
Sukkot is really a very strange and wonderful holiday—all at the same time. In contrast to the solemnity and spirituality of Yom Kippur, Sukkot is joyful, even boisterous—a very different spiritual pursuit. Sukkot is very physical—with shaking the etrog and lulav. In fact, the mitzvah of the Sukkah itself is one of the only mitzvot that you can do with your whole body—just placing your body in a Sukkah is a mitzvah.