Category: Religion

Ki Sisa — Knot Theory

The Hebrew words panim and achor (as in lifnei and acharei) are used in both a spatial and temporal sense – either as “front” and “back” or as “before” and “after.” One approach to...

Tetzaveh – Divine Right vs. Divine Role

There’s really no such thing as a kohein. At least not the way we generally pronounce the word in conversation, with the accent placed on the first syllable. In the Torah, the stress is...

Terumah – Ulterior Merits

The aron habris, the ark of the covenant that held the luchos, the tablets of the law, consisted of three nested boxes, the middle one of wood, the outer and inner ones of zahav...

Mishpatim — Full Moon Danger

On June 6, 1944, D-Day, more than 150,000 Allied troops stormed the coast of Normandy to begin the liberation of France from the Nazis. he criteria for choosing that day included a low but...

Yisro – Experience Required

When I was a teenager, I wrote a short poem that went: All could be lies For we see with our eyes. Descartes, as I later discovered, beat me by some three centuries at...

Bishalach – La Différence

Our ancestors’ wondering “Is Hashem in our midst or not?” is followed immediately in the Torah by Amalek’s attack (Shemos 17: 7-8). The word expressing Klal Yisrael’s existential doubt – “or not?” – is...

Parshas Bo – Birth Blood

That Yaakov’s descendants are commanded by Hashem to place the blood of the korban Pesach on the doorposts and lintels of their homes’ doors (Shemos 12:7) is certainly intriguing. Considering that the Gemara on...

Vo’eira – When To Remind Can Be Unkind

It’s intriguing that when Moshe and Aharon are sent to present themselves to Par’oh and to demonstrate the miracle of a staff turning into a snake, Moshe is commanded by Hashem to tell Aharon...

Vayechi – Missing Letter, Vital Message

All the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are found in the bracha that Yehudah is given by his father Yaakov – with one exception: the zayin. That fact is pointed out by Rabbeinu Bachya,...

Mikeitz – Some Bad in our Bloodline

Many years ago, a wise rebbe of mine, addressing instances of financial finagling by some members of the tribe, explained that  the forefathers of us Jews whom we revere are Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov,...

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