Category: Judaism

Vayishlach — A Poisonous Prescription

Number one on my list of brilliant people’s brilliantly wrongheaded ideas is something that the late British polymath/physician/comedian Jonathan Miller once said: “I feel that the Jew must constantly re-adventure and re-venture himself into...

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...

Toldos – Confining Minds

A word often translated as “hunting” is used by the Torah to characterize Esav — “a man who knows hunting” (Beraishis 25:27). Likewise, earlier, to describe Nimrod — “a powerful hunter” (10:9). Rashi explains...

Parshas Vayeira – The Will IS the Way

Inordinate attention is afforded the menu that Avraham Avinu offered the angels disguised as nomads whom he welcomed to his home: Water, fine-flour bread, cream and milk; and, according to the Gemara, the tongues...

Lech Lecha – The Meaning of Magein

“I am a shield for you,” is the common translation of what Hashem told Avram after the war of the kings (Beraishis 15:1). And Rashi, referencing the Midrash (Midrash Rabbah, 44:4), explains that the...

Parshas Noach – Our (Temporarily) Un-Whole World

The word “toldos” introducing the “account” of Noach is spelled in a subtly different way than its first appearance in parshas Beraishis, where “eleh toldos hashamayim vi’ha’aretz” (Beraishis 2:4) concludes the account of the...

V’zos Habracha – Spacewarps

A Roman emperor, according to a Midrashic account (Sifri, Devarim 357), sent two army units to find Moshe Rabbeinu’s burial site. When they stood above it on a hill, they saw it below. When...

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