This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Coercing Religious Observance
Abraham devised a unique method for sharing his monotheistic beliefs with the masses. He erected a tent in middle of the desert and any traveler who entered would be served a sumptuous meal which included bread, meat, wines and other delicacies. When the guest was satiated and was ready to continue on his journey, Abraham would ask him to thank the Creator for the food he had just eaten. If the guest couldn't formulate a blessing on his own, Abraham would teach him to say: "Blessed be the Master of the World, whose food we have eaten."
Occasionally, a recalcitrant pagan would refuse Abraham's request.
Climbing the Ladder of Love
Each and every event that is recorded in the Torah about the lives of our forefathers and foremothers is relevant to the story of every single Jew. That is why there are some key events in their stories that are not recorded in the Torah (like Abraham discovering G‑d at an early age and debating with the people of his native land, which is recorded only in Midrash), and why some seemingly trivial details are recorded. The Torah records only those events that are relevant to us, that will recur, in some form or another, in the life of every Jew.
Who was Abraham? What did he stand for? What does he teach us?
Dealing with the Flood of Life
Do you ever think to yourself: “I’m drowning! I’m swamped with life’s demands!”
Whether it’s slaving away at our jobs, sinking into the insurmountable pile of our bills or worrying about the hundreds of big and little things that challenge us, how can we stay afloat? When life comes rushing at us -- leaving us with a never-ending “To Do” list, and making us feel confused and overwhelmed -- how can we cope?
In this week’s Torah portion, we read about the great flood. The Hebrew word for flood, mabul, also means disorder and confusion. In a world full of disorder, our priorities can become skewed and distorted.
How did Noah handle the overwhelming floodwaters?