Welcome to the Nishma Insight Discussion Forum blog.

The NISHMA INSIGHT is our popular dvar Torah, distributed almost every week by e-mail, that touches upon an important concept in the Parsha, theme in a holiday or event in contemporary society.

Often, readers respond, via e-mail, with comments that initiate a further dialogue. Through this Discussion Forum, we now wish to open this dialogue to others. If you have a comment on the INSIGHT, we invite you place to your comments here; then we invite everyone to join the discussion.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Insight 5776-11: Struggle

For Vayishlach

Not yet available on the Nishma website.

Study Question

1) Included in the concept that it was the ministering angel of Esav who Yaakov fought that night should be the recognition that even as we fight enemies from without, we are fighting enemies within. There is always a weakness within which allows a force from without to fight us. It is thus important to constantly recognize that our battle with Esav also includes a battle within ourselves.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Insight 5776-09: Yitzchak's Directive

For Toldot
Not yet available on the Nishma website.

Study Question

1) In that Yishmael did teshuva, we may wonder why Yitzchak directed Yaakov to go to marry one of Lavan's daughters and did not send him to marry one of Yishmael's daughters as Esav actually did. One possibility may be that Yitzchak did not want any influences on Yaakov's family from the family of the wife of Yaakov, which would occur if Yaakov lived close to his wife's family. Another possibility may be that there was something specific to Rivkah's family that Yitzchak wished to be further integrated into Yaakov's family through a marriage to a daughter of Rivkah's brother Lavan. See Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, Emet L'Yaakov, Bereishit 28:8.

2) My statement in the Insight that Esav totally missed the point. What else could he do? The commentators speak of the fact that Esav did not divorce his Canaanite wives but, even if one was obligated to listen to a father in regard to a command not to marry an inappropriate women such as these Canaanite women (and there are those who maintain that even though a father generally cannot intervene in a son's choice of a mate, in regard to a morally unsuitable wife the father can interfere), it could still be questionable if Esav should divorce his wives.