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Back in 1996, Rabbi Finman was asked to speak to the niece of one of his students. After spending many hours answering her questions, the woman gave Rabbi Finman her e-mail address. Rabbi Finman wrote the woman a note and included in it a short insight into that week's Parsha and a short Chasidic story.

Realizing that this was something no one was yet doing,, Rabbi Finman sent the missive to his mailing list of about 30 people. Requests from recipients friends came pouring in. The next week Rabbi Finman sent the e-Parsha to 100 people. Within a year more than 2000 people were receiving it. Today, more than 14,000 receive the e-Parsha weekly and the requests keep coming in.

Toldos 5778
Chaya Sorah 5778
Vayera 5778
Lech Licha 5778
Noach 5778

Toldos 5778

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In memory of Bennie Magy - Bentziyon ben Avraham v Elke Magy, who passed away Menachem Av 22, 5749 - August 23, 1989 and Rose Magy - Rivka Rayzel Bat Chayim Yaakov v'Chaya Tertza Arbit, who passed away Tamuz 2, 5765 - July 9, 2005. May their souls experience a lichtiger Gan Eden - an illuminated Garden of Eden and may their family only experience Simchas from now on. Sponsored by their son Paul Magy - Birmingham, Michigan.

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This week's YouParsha Toldos - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27orR_2YQGQ The Smell of Yaakov

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The early years of Yaakov and Esav are discussed in Parshas Toldos, Genesis 25: 19 - 28:9. Esav was born hairy - Yaakov was smooth. Chasidus explains hair as a byproduct of intellect (that does not mean that people with hair are smarter than people who are bald. It just means they have more byproduct). The hair on the head is looked upon as being a channel to the forces of evil (one of the reasons men are encouraged to have short hair). Hair is hollow - like a pipe. It grows, yet there is no feeling in hair. The amount of life in hair is minute; indicating that the amount of G'dliness that flows to evil is not very much and not very intense.

Yaakov was smooth. There was no connection between Yaakov and evil. Yaakov is representative of the attribute of truth. Evil is not true. It exists only in order to facilitate our freedom of choice to choose good. So, if you have to make the choice already - choose good.

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I heard this story from Sholom Michlin who heard it from the protagonist:

Back in the '80's, Yisroel Rappaport was a young man living in Israel. At that time Atari (remember pong?) was trying to break into the Israeli market. Not a religious fellow, Yisroel was, however, friendly with a local Chabad rabbi. There were many much larger concerns bidding for the rights to import the Atari products. Yisroel was just a sole proprietorship. The Rabbi urged Yisroel to get a brocha from the Rebbe. He wrote a letter to the Rebbe but received no answer.

Yisroel met Atari's representative. The rep told Yisroel that they were thinking of selling a lot of product A, some of product B, and none of product C. Yisroel explained that he would sell much more of product C than they were thinking of selling product A, a little of B and none of A and explained the Israeli mentality of marketing . Yisroel landed the contract.

A while later another deal came up. This time, the Rabbi told Yisroel to go to New York to ask for a brocha. Around that time, a friend of Yisroel's showed him a new innovation in computers - a floppy disc. The friend said he wanted 10,000 of them and would pay $7.00 apiece if Yisroel could find a source.

Yisroel flew to New York. He did not actually have the opportunity to discuss his business venture with the Rebbe but wrote a long letter. At the end of the letter, he mentioned that he would be leaving New York at such and such a time. The Rebbe answered very positively to proceed with the deal and mentioned that he should fly on a later flight. Yisroel changed his itinerary. While sitting in the airport lounge, Yisroel met the rep from Atari - only now he was a major distributor of --- floppy discs. Yisroel wanted to know if he could get 10,000, but the man would only sell him 100,000 at 87 cents apiece. The rest is history.

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