Category: Religion

Vayeira – More Intimate Than Prophecy

Avraham experiences a communication from Hashem at the start of the parsha (Beraishis 18:1, 18:13). And it culminates with Hashem’s informing our forebear of the impending destruction of S’dom (18:20-21). Then, the Torah tells...

Lech Lecha – Jewish Influence

Stars aren’t visible during the day. Yosef Chaim Cara, a 17th century Polish rabbi, points out in his sefer Kol Omer Kra that after Hashem tells Avram, concerning his future progeny, to “Look heavenward...

Noach — Symbols Gone Astray

It’s intriguing that two separate images from parshas Noach have been turned by contemporary society into widely used symbols – and each one is decidedly off the mark. A dove holding an olive branch...

Beraishis –  Marriage Medicine

The first marriage in history, which we reference in the Birchos Nesuin recited under the chuppah, differed in a fundamental way from all marriages to follow. According to one Midrashic opinion, Adam and Chavah...

Vizos Habracha – Four Fundamental Letters

The Torah begins with an act of kindness, Rabi Simlai points out – Hashem’s providing clothing to Adam and Chava; and ends with an act of kindness – the burial of Moshe Rabbeinu (Sotah,...

Who By Tongue

There’s an often overlooked irony in the story of Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, whose poignant tefillah “U’nesaneh Tokef, describing the Ultimate Judge’s opening the book of our deeds and deciding our fates, is solemnly...

Nitzavim – Turning Pain to Gain

The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni) at the start of parshas Nitzavim sees in the parsha’s opening words, “You are standing today” the message that, despite the sins and travails of Klal Yisrael up to that...

Ki Savo – Schrödinger’s Moon

Seizing on the fact that the Hebrew word for a granary – osem – shares two letters with the word for “obscured” – samui – Chazal make an intriguing assertion: Blessing [i.e. increase in...

Parshas Ki Seitzei – A Puzzling Parallel

It is striking and strange that a phrase that is to be proclaimed by the yevama, the childless widow whose brother-in-law does not wish to marry her, is the precise phrase in Megillas Esther,...

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