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Vayeshev 5780 - Rav Barry Leff Envy is at the heart of this week’s parsha. We’re told, And Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was a son of his old age; and he made him a fine woolen coat (aka “coat of many colors” – the Hebrew “ktonet passim” is a little obscure). How did the brothers respond? And his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, so they hated him, and they could not speak...

Vayetze 5780 – the Holiness of Jacob Rav Barry Leff In the birkat hamazon, the grace after meals, there’s a curious phrase: Kedoshenu kadosh Yakov Our holiness is the holiness of Jacob. Why Jacob? Why not Abraham, the first Jew? Or Moses, the lawgiver? Or King David, author of the sublime psalms? It’s because Jacob’s holiness is a holiness that encapsulates the approach of the Jewish people. An approach to holiness that is rooted on earth but reaches the heavens. That connects heaven and earth, God...