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.
My Son the Doctor
My son the doctor had a son: he is now a neurosurgeon. His son is a forest-ranger in Yosemite: the girl he is not married to is not Jewish. My son the lawyer had a daughter: she is a senior analyst with Morgan Stanley: she's forty-three and just met Mr. Right.
A survey of Jewish America was unveiled recently, containing little we didn’t already know anecdotally. Still, some of the numbers were shocking.
Three hundred thousand less Jews than there were only ten years ago? Forget Zero Population Growth: we’re eating away at our capital.
And for what? Because we earn $8,000 per year more than the average American family! We're not having kids so we can go out and earn an extra minimum wage. My kingdom for a horse; my birthright for $8,000 worth of lentils.
Jews vs. Pigs
Of all non-kosher animals, the pig is far and away the most reviled. Even among Jews who unfortunately do not yet adhere to all the kosher laws, many avoid pork. In fact, of all the pungent insults and curses with which the Yiddish language is so blessed, one that stands out for malignancy of expression is to be called a chazer fissel (pig’s foot).
There are two identifiers of a kosher animal: cud-chewing and split hooves. The pig, alone of all animals in G‑d’s barnyard, has split hooves while not being a ruminant. Have you ever seen a pig sleep? Splayed out in the mud with an idiotic grin plastered on its snout, it stretches out its trotters as if calling on all to witness its inherent kashrus. And you know what? Pious pretensions to the contrary, it still remains a pig.
What's on Your Business Card?
Meet the main protagonist of this week's Torah portion: Eliezer. A majority of the reading discusses his venture to find a wife for Isaac, his boss's son. The Torah describes in relative length the drama of the Torah's first recorded matchmaking effort.
Throughout the narrative, Eliezer encounters miracles in abundance: obstacles disappear from his path, and his prayers are answered instantly. Nevertheless, what is striking is that his ego remains in check; not once in the story does the Torah even mention his name, instead referring to him as "the servant of Abraham."
Later, when he finds The Girl, he sets up an official meeting with her parents in order to ask for her hand in marriage. They ask him to speak.
What are the first words that exit his mouth? Eved Avraham anochi. "I am Abraham's servant." And then he goes on to lavish praise on his boss.