Category: General

Bishalach – A Decisive Divorce

Shalach, the root of the word of the parshah’s title, is used elsewhere regarding the exodus from Mitzrayim (e.g. shalach es ami). So are the words yetziah (e.g. Shemos, 20:2) and geirush (e.g. ibid...

Parshas Bo – Enticing the Wicked Son

When the Torah (Shemos, 12:26) recounts the question the Haggadah attributes to the “wicked son,” it states that, when our ancestors heard it, they responded by bowing down in thanksgiving. What were they thankful...

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Some Good News

There are always people who do more than complain. They contribute to rectifying bad situations. Sometimes it takes a little time to find them, or for good ideas to gel into action. Here are...

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Chaim Walder

[Author’s note: Tragically, the prediction that I made in the penultimate paragraph has already become a reality with the suicide of one of the victims. No one need to attribute any prophetic powers to...

Vo’eira – History’s Foundation

It is interesting that the concept of hakaras hatov, “recognition of the good” that one has experienced, appears not only in the parsha, at the beginning of the Sefer Shemos saga whose apogee is...

Shemos – Against Your Grain

My rebbe, Rav Yaakov Weinberg, zt”l, often spoke of how each of the Jewish forefathers was challenged by Hashem to act in opposition to the very characteristic that defined him. Avraham, whose middah is...

Mikeitz – Small, Not Inconsequential

Yosef, who reaches the height of temporal power in this week’s parshah, was originally presented as unimpressive, even vain, the favorite of his father but the lesser, at least as they saw things, of...

The Myth of Mundanity: A Chanukah Thought

The thought experiment begins by asking us to ponder a world where the dead routinely rise from their graves but in which no grain or vegetation has ever grown. Long departed relatives routinely reappear...

Vayeitzei – Haters Gonna Hope

In a short, biting comment, the Chasam Sofer makes a trenchant observation about antisemites, whom he sees as following in the footsteps of Lavan, Yaakov Avinu’s father-in-law. When, after being tricked into working for...

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