When Yaakov Avinu is finally reunited with Yosef after 22 years of separation, in what can only be imagined as an intensely emotional scene, Yaakov embraces Yosef, sobbing on his neck (B’reishis 46:29). Rashi, quoting the Midrash, explains that, as Yaakov embraced Yosef for the first time in 22 years, he was saying k’rias Sh’ma. What is the meaning of this? Why not wait until after this joyful and emotional reunion with his long-lost son to pray? The answer often given is that Yaakov was overcome by intense emotion and wanted to channel this emotion toward Hashem through reciting k’rias Sh’ma. However, there may be a deeper layer here, as well.

As we encounter our victory over Haman, let us delve more deeply into the unique spiritual and existential battle that the Jewish People must continue to wage against the philosophy of Amaleik. As a descendant of Amaleik, Haman continued their legacy of Jewish obliteration. As the Maharal explains, Amaleik rejects Hashem’s connection to this world or any connection between the spiritual and the physical. Essentially, Amaleik denies Hashem’s control of this world and the ability for man to uplift himself to the level of the spiritual.

New Dirshu “Chaburas HaShas Iyun” Program Announced At Melava Malka Siyum on Seder Moed 

“You think you are in Stamford, Connecticut, but you are not! There is a law that an embassy of a country is considered that country’s sovereign territory. For example, if you are in the British Embassy in Washington, you are not in Washington. By law, it is considered as if you are in Britain. We may think we are in Stamford, Connecticut but really, we are in Dirshu! Dirshu is a different planet, a different atmosphere. If there is anything that I learned this Shabbos, it is that being in Dirshu is something not in this world. It is a hechere velt, an elevated world of Torah and a world of simcha that is indescribable.”

As I headed out to the Dirshu World Siyum of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha on Thursday, March 3, I reflected on my endeavors for the previous North American Dirshu Siyum. At that time, I coordinated the entrance for Rabbi Yitzchak Yisraeli, Chief Bukharian Rabbi of the USA and Canada, and Rabbi Aharon Walkin, zt”l, then Rosh HaYeshivah of Chazaq. For this siyum, I joined on behalf of this publication after reading up on the mindboggling amount of work that the Dirshu team takes on. Walking into the CURE Insurance Arena/War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey, I was immediately taken in by the kavod haTorah and mentchlichkeit paid by each attendee. But for those of us who are not lomdim the daf halachah, the k’dushas haTorah present at the arena was our calling.

There is a strange recurring phenomenon throughout the story of creation: The Torah first describes one model of creation and then proceeds to depict a completely different, even contradictory picture of the same creation. For example: