Jacob
Jacob’s Redeeming Angel

Jacob’s Redeeming Angel

More than any other character in the Bible, Jacob encounters angels. In his nighttime vision after fleeing Esau, Jacob sees angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven. Upon returning, he has a far more direct encounter with an...

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Sheol: The Grave or so Much More?

Sheol: The Grave or so Much More?

The meeting between Joseph and Judah was fraught with import for all present, but also impacted the house of Jacob and all the future generations of Israel to come. But Judah is concerned for his father, stating that if they return...

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Jacob or Israel: What’s in a Name?

Jacob or Israel: What’s in a Name?

Names, especially names of Biblical characters, are very significant. The granting of a name is a divine gift bestowed upon Adam, giving him an active role in Creation Genesis 2:19: And Hashem formed out of the earth all the wild beasts...

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Who was the angel that Jacob fought?

Who was the angel that Jacob fought?

Jacob is perhaps the Biblical character whose life is more closely followed than any other, with the Torah following his conflict with his brother while still in the womb and relating his deathbed blessings. Perhaps the most pivotal...

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Why don’t Jews eat sirloin steak?

Why don’t Jews eat sirloin steak?

Before facing his brother, Esau, Jacob goes off alone and encounters a mysterious assailant in the middle of the night (Genesis 32). Though the Torah describes the attacker as a man, the Sages explain that unbeknownst to Jacob, the...

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The Gateway to Heaven

The Gateway to Heaven

Bethel, or Beit El in Hebrew, literally means ‘the house of God.’ It was first mentioned in the Bible as being near Ai and the place where Abram first pitched his tent upon entering the Land of Israel (Genesis 12:8). He built an altar...

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How to Get High on God?

How to Get High on God?

What's the difference between getting high on drugs and getting high on God? Rabbi Shlomo Katz explains based on the Torah portion of Toldot that a Godly high keeps you high, but getting high on drugs, leaves you feeling low.

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