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Mikeitz - Chanukah: Are People Inherently Good or Bad?

Do you ever doubt the inherent goodness of mankind? Can people reach a point of no return? What is the nature of our core essence? Are you a good person? On a scale from one to ten how would you rate yourself? How do you think your friends and family would rate you? We often wonder if the world around us is a “good” place. Many question the true intentions of our leaders. We worry about the future. The miraculous story of Chanukah celebrated by Jews all over the world provides a timeless message into the nature of humanity’s inherent moral struggle. The focal point of the story is centred around the finding of a small cask of pure oil which miraculously burned for eight days and nigh

Vayeishev: Do You Feel Alone In The World?

How often do you feel completely alone in the world? Are there moments in your life when you believe that no one truly understands your predicament? Are there times when you are not entirely sure if anyone genuinely cares about you? No doubt that, in a world filled with a wide range of life’s constant pressures, both socially and professionally, our relationships with others are tried and tested. Our friendships and loyalties to others are not in a static mode. It is not surprising therefore, that there are going to be times when we are let down by those we felt closest to. There is such a moment which is most powerfully depicted in this week’s Torah portion. It is the story of Jos

Vayishlach: A Timeless Response To The Oldest Hatred

How do you deal with people who hate you? Do you engage them or do you walk away? Should one look to compromise or should one seek a just settlement? If love is the most powerful force in the universe, then hate must be the most destructive. Love is the creator of life, hate destroys it. Human beings are at their most optimal state when they are infused with love. So how does someone who is filled with love deal with someone who is filled with hate? Is it a level playing field? One of the most suspenseful scenes in the biblical narrative is the moment when Jacob is forced to meet his brother Esau. Jacob is fully cognizant of his brothers animosity towards him. Filled with trepidation, h

Vayeitzei: How To Play The Game When There Are No Rules

How do we play the game when there are no rules? What methods do we employ without sacrificing our integrity? Who is the true opponent in the game of life? As human beings we can get used to most things. However, there is one thing that challenges us most profoundly. Uncertainty. We all like to see the road ahead. We want to know what to expect in the future. It is not the challenges in our lives that make us truly afraid, but the unknown nature and timing of those challenges that unsettle us. If there was ever a man experiencing the loneliness that accompanies this state of being, it was Jacob our forefather, alone on the mountain top, as we find him at the beginning of our weekly To

 

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