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Tastings Of Torah - Vayera - By Rav Binny Freedman

I can still remember that night; it was the loneliest, most depressing night of my life. After almost a year of training, with only a couple of days to go before getting my bars and finishing officer’s course, I had been ordered to stand before a tribunal headed by the base commander along with my battalion and company commanders and summarily told I would not be graduating.

I could not blame them; my maneuvers had not been tight enough, my command not sharp enough; I was not ready. And my commanders did not feel, in good conscience that they could send me out to command men in battle. But it was devastating. With all my fellow cadets giving in their gear and practising for the final ceremony on the parade ground, I was told I was free to go and was dismissed.

We were on a base in the middle of the Negev desert and it was nine o clock at night, but I could not bear to stay on the base, so I packed up my gear and walked a couple miles from the main gate to the highway, hoping for ride… to anywhere. I at on that highway for nearly six hours until a truck finally saw me and mercifully picked me up at 3 am headed north.

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Real Love Means Embracing Conflict - The Secret of Jacob, By Rabbi David Aaron

Parashat Vayishlach 

The Torah (Bible) teaches us that Jacob went to the house Laban, his uncle, and dwelt there for many years. He married Rachel and Leah, Laban's daughters, and had eleven sons there. After years of struggling with Laban constantly deceiving him he finally left to return home and face Esau who hated him. In the middle of the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two handmaids and his eleven sons, and sent them across the Jabbok River shallows. After he had taken them and sent them across, he also sent across his possessions. Jacob alone remained on the other side of the river. It was there that the famous "stranger" appeared and wrestled with him until just before daybreak:

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