Archive | Marks_Yaakov_Rabbi

Weekly Torah portion: Mishpatim

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — The Torah (Exodus 23:6-11) lists several laws that pertain to judging the disadvantaged. “Do not pervert the judgment of a poor person in his disagreement. Distance yourself from falsehood. And do not take a bribe because a bribe blinds the eyes and perverts the words of the righteous. […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Yitro

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — After the Jews, had settled peacefully into their wilderness encampment, Yitro, Moshe’s father in law, brought Zipporah, Moshe’s wife and two sons from Midyan, to be reunited with their husband and father. Moshe and all the leaders hosted Yitro to a joyous celebratory meal in which they praised […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Vaerah

Obstacle or Opportunity? You Decide! By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — When Moshe originally spoke to the Jewish people about G-d’s plan to redeem them, Moshe performed the signs G-d had given him. The people, upon witnessing the signs, were convinced that G-d had, indeed, sent Moshe to redeem them. They enthusiastically bowed down […]

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Weekly Torah Portion: Shemot

To Free, You Must Be Free By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Moshe is one of the most selfless leaders to ever guide a nation. As a young man being raised in the palace of Pharaoh surrounded by luxury and the choicest material pleasures the world had to offer, Moshe would daily walk out […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Vayechi

What is a Blessing? By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — After a deeply spiritual life, Yaakov is now ready to charge and bless the next generation as they prepare to carry on the mission of teaching the world the greatness of G-d. The angelic glory which emanated from Yaakov must have surely generated an […]

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Weekly Torah portion: VaYigash

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — After decades of unfathomable hardships and a multitude of betrayals, broken dreams, and dashed hopes, Yosef now faces the perpetrators who set into motion this sequence of events. Yosef had maneuvered his brothers into a position that would allow him to attain his ultimate revenge. He was a […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Mekeitz

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Pharaoh had a dream in which he saw seven healthy cows come out of the Nile river and stand on the banks of the river. Seven scrawny cows followed and stood with them. At this point of his dream, the scrawny cows ate the healthy cows. Pharaoh continued […]

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Weekly Torah portion: VaYeishev

How Joseph resisted Potiphar’s wife By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Possibly no one in history has endured the brutal emotional rollercoaster and harsh physical adversities which Yosef experienced. At a young age, he lost the love and tender care of his beloved mother. He was misunderstood and scorned by most of his brothers […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Vayishlach

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — The reunion between the twin brothers, Yaakov and Esav, after a twenty-year separation, appears to be a simple story: Yaakov sends a gift, they meet and hug. Esav says he doesn’t need the gift because ‘I have a lot’ (Genesis 33:9). Yaakov says, ‘I have all that I […]

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Weekly Torah portion: VaYatzei

More than Enough is Nothing! By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — Yaakov had just left his parent’s home and his birthplace to journey to a foreign land in search of a wife. An encounter with Eliphaz, the first-born son of Esau, had left him penniless. Early darkness forced him to camp in an unfamiliar […]

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Weekly Torah Portion: VaYelech

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO– The people are about to enter the land. After forty years of wandering and waiting, they have prepared themselves and built a close relationship with G-d. It is now time to enter the land and serve G-d through both the spiritual and physical aspects of man. Before they enter, […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Ki Tetzei

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks   SAN DIEGO — “But what will they say?” Better yet ask, “What will you answer to yourself?” You shall not see the ox or the sheep of your brother wandering and disregard them. You will surely return them to your brother. If your brother is not near or you do not […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Naso

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — The formation of the new nation had materialized. The Holy Tabernacle was erected, a census was performed, the army was established, and the tribes were given their flags and assigned positions around the Tabernacle. Then G-d commanded: “Send out all people with Tzoraas (individuals who contracted a spiritually-generated skin […]

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Weekly Torah portion: Bamidbar

By Rabbi Yaakov Marks SAN DIEGO — And G-d spoke to Moshe and Aaron saying: “Each man under his flag with the signs according to the house of their fathers they will camp, at a distance and around the Tabernacle they will camp.” (Numbers 2:2) The Midrash Rabbah (Numbers 2:7) is concerned that the phrase “…according […]

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