Category: Religion

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,...

Vayeishev – What’s Wrong?

  When we read the account of Yosef’s unfair imprisonment – and his eventual release after the Egyptian ruler is informed by the sar hamashkim, the butler, of Yosef’s G-d-given ability to interpret dreams...

Vayeitzei – Stairway to Peoplehood

Sometimes an idea can only be possible after a certain point in history. One example might have to do with the imagery of Yaakov’s dream at the start of the parsha. The message delivered...

Toldos – Knowing That One Doesn’t

As the tale goes, a learned non-Jewish cleric challenges the town’s Jewish populace to have its greatest scholar meet him on a bridge over a raging river, each a heavy weight tied to his...

Chayei Sara – Death and Marriage

That a man’s gifting of something of worth to a woman can effect a marriage if both parties agree is derived through exegesis from, of all places, Avraham’s purchase of a burial site for...

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