Weekly Essay

  • Vayeze 5769  —  "Quick, Simple, & Pointed" Series Theme
    Yakov’s dream – the first time man sees himself from the outside – introduces us to the meaning of consciousness. In his dream, the Beit HaMikdash is created, not merely visualized, thus demonstrating the enormous impact of the subliminal onto the physical world. Sleep becomes fundamental in our understanding of the Beit HaMikdash as a “lover’s bed” – a place of the greatest intimacy and sharing. During his years with Lavan, Ya’akov is in exile, but the vision of a Beit HaMikdash throughout this period provides a source of light within the darkness of process, even though this may be realized only in retrospect. In this way, the Beit HaMikdash becomes the nerot of Chanukah – a beacon of Ge’ulah for Yisrael throughout its long history of Galut. (BW)

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  • Vayeze Structure  —  Presented in 1987 at Yigal Alon Histadrut Center

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  • Parashat Vayeze  —  Executive Learning Group Series - 5760-2000 Theme
    The difference between עם אלוקי אברהם and בת נדיב in עלייה לרגל on the one hand and the בית אלוקי יעקב of the same עמים רבים. Growing into the subconscious and discovering there the bitterest roots of one’s own psychology and ultimately one’s identity, and finding in the discovery no dissonance at the top of the ladder, results in a completely non-generic consciousness that confirms the connection of earth and mind, of תמימות with sophistication. The three אבות now define three levels of עולם הבא and its relationship to עולם הזה.


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  • Vayeze Basics

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  • Vayeze for Executives  —  Executive Learning Group Series, 5761-2001 Theme
    Discovering the nature of nested Creation, in which phenomenon are either multi-leveled or must inevitably lack full existence, are the equivalent of ‘virtual particles’. The “ladders” between the levels are mind portals, specifically, and all קדושה is built of mind. But the entire basis of a portal is the existence of emergent phenomena that can break through one level of reality to another. The experiential emergence is achieved always by woman, and no matter how much mind is applied by a man, without connection to the phenomena through woman he will remain always a “hippie,” attempting to cross the threshold of שער השמים by simply climbing a ladder that he believes leads directly step by step to an evolutionary entree into a different reality. This is the תרפים from which רחל attempts to free her father—glimpses into an artificial projected reality rather than an emergent reality. The עזר כנגדו element is the provision of the כנגדו element in the alternative reality, e.g. the necessary עיסוק בפרטי העוה''ז from the point of view of Leah. In this sense the כנגדו is indeed the parallel, i.e. כנגדו, reality in which she provides the עזר. But רחל provides the עזר by allowing the חיבור to the כנגדו in לאה, and this is why the two of them are essential and why it is that there is access to לאה the כנגדו only through רחל the עזר! (Whether in terms of the מסירת סימנים or in terms of the actual עבודה for רחל providing לאה).
    This is why עשו could have found a תיקון in דינה, for the issues are nearly the same—all that is required is the association to open the portal. This is essential for the relationship to Woman in general—for she serves as the universal connector, whether in terms of beauty or in terms of dirty diapers: יופי ובנים. Thus the nature of portals here, stressed both in beginning and in end with סולם-מלאכים-מחניים, also require bracketing and recognizing the distinction of worlds: the מצבות.

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  • Overview of Vayeze  —  Rova Yehudi Series Theme
    The search for woman as the essence of the תיקון of ישראל, the underlying meaning of גלות וגאולה: באשה שמר בנביא נשמר.... For all must return to the journey from עץ הדעת to עץ החיים, and that is a journey of אישות. The process to לאה is רחל and thus she is the עשויה, (the one for עשו), the קבורה towards which he travels but not the essence of his life. Oh yes, יעקב אבינו knows full well the value of תפארת (if not he then who?) but instead of being meditative, יושב אהלים, his revelation at the סולם drives him to complete and passionate commitment to עולם הזה, באהבתו אותה, and thus his disappointment and pain. He is the journeyer, מגורותי, and he whose fears מגורותי come of his tenderness, the world his צאן.
    The רמאות is central for the journey, never climbing beyond where you can handle today, but clarifying each moment so that it can last forever. And in doing so he reaches a multiple תיקון חצות, with the travail and בכייה of רחל, and the arrival and serenity of a לאה reflected in that תיקון. Only תפארת with a full spectrum of interrelationship conscious and subliminal can achieve the fullness undisturbed by such a contradiction, and his life must include the uncompromised love for רחל for otherwise קבורה has cheated us of childhood forever, just as childhood continues to slumber on the road of בית לחם. Each life journeys with רחל but completes with לאה, and in a paradigm the directions are so strong that only parallel twins to the twin יעקב-עשו can express it. The discovery of selfhood comes with this final incorporation of the two aspects of יצחק and their absolute unity: potential and actual, רחל and לאה, ארץ ושמים. He is so dedicated in this balance to the uncompromised totality of עולם הזה on its own terms that he is entirely חרישות שחרשתי לרחל but through those חרישות ends up with לאה! The same interrelationship takes place within the שפחות where they are reversed, so that Rachel’s שפחה now becomes the way that לאה has of achieving her “Racheldom” and the שפחה of לאה becomes the way that רחל has of achieving her “Leahdom.” We go from באשה to (רמאות (כנגד י’ ימי תשובה to the בחור שא עיניך which is רחל ולאה on יום הכפורים with the meeting with עשו –all in the הפטרה!
    The need of יעקב to develop within רמאות and ארם, and the שם יעקב is simply the tip of an iceberg which goes deep. The power of רמאות is the way in which can present truth, not שקר. This is why לשון ארם is closest to לשון הקודש and why the מלאכי השרת will not recognize it, for it is the אמת which is nonetheless שקר (this is the tremendous stress at the end of the story of the languages of לבן and יעקב, the confusion even of whether the שמות are קודש). The entire גלות is a study in misconstrued truths, presentations of ideals that are true, but totally inappropriate in context. The more sophisticated the רמאות, the more sophisticated the definitions necessary to distinguish it from Truth. All הבדלה and thus all קדושה derive from this confrontation with רמאות.

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  • Vayeze for Undergraduates- 5761  —  Undergraduate Series - 5761 Theme
    Understanding the two women of ובאשה שמר as a new level of relating to עזר כנגדו ; discovering in the two women that what he thought was עולם הבא was actually עולם הזה and what he thought was עולם הזה was actually עולם הבא. The palatability of רוחניות and beauty and vision that רחל lends his life in עולם הזה is nonetheless עולם הזה whereas the solid accomplishment added by לאה is the essence of the achievement of עולם הבא!

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  • Vayeze - Transitions  —  Undergraduate Series - 5762

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  • Vayeze - Developments  —  Undergraduate Series - 5763 Theme
    Seeing the development of Yisrael as a new journey within תוהו that is achieved with the same tools as biological development: competition, ending at Chanukah. The sons here must explore multiple interpretations of reality that give birth to consciousness itself as the essential nature of ברית, the essential integration of two worlds, seeing the emergent as not coming a virtuality but of actuality. It is the interface, the ladder, that remains open to multiple explanation, but it is the consistency of the interrelationship that avoids solipsism. Here then is the discovery of a new meta-evolution that proceeds within mind itself, exploring the interrelationship of observer and observed, of the world of microcosmic process and meta-macrocosmic emergence and experience.

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  • Vayivga baMakom: Space & the "Holy"  —  Executive Learning Center 5768

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  • Advanced Vayeze  —  "Advanced FrameWorks" Series presented to Kolel Fellows, 1995 Theme
    Here Ya’akov grows into the berachot by “becoming Eisav,” i.e. gaining all the capabilities that attracted his father to Eisav in the first place. As he grows into the berachot he also grows into his own self, the Av of Tiferet. The drastic change in his personality, from the איש תם, “one who knows no deception,” to the אחיו אני ברמאות, takes place overnight – in fact, it takes place in his sleep! We discover here the world and the Temple as בית, a home, and see how the meaning of מנוחה changes our relationship to life and universe.

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