Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Haftarat Parshat Vayeshev: Sticking our Heads Frimly into the Ground by Gidon Rothstein

November 24, 2010 by  
Filed under New Posts

Amos 2:6-3:8 The haftarah opens with a line that recurs in Amos, his declaring that “for three sins of …, and for four I will not forego.” In our selection, the culprit is Israel, the Northern Kingdom.  He then names their having sold “a righteous person for money and an impoverished one for shoes,” often [...]

Parashat Vayeshev: The Marriage Quandary by Yaakov Bieler

November 23, 2010 by  
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Yehuda’s Strange Choice for Marriage In Beraishit 38, we learn about Yehuda’s marriage and his interactions with his children and daughter-in-law. Yehuda’s choice to wed an ostensibly Canaanite woman—38:2 “Bat Ish Canaani” (the daughter of a Canaanite man)[1]  —appears to fly in the face of the traditions that were begun by Avraham and continued down [...]

Parshat Va’Yishlach: Stretching the Truth – Sometimes it Bends, Sometimes it Breaks by Yaakov Bieler

November 19, 2010 by  
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Did Yaakov embody the quality of honesty?                    Even though the simple meaning of the phrase in Micha 7:20 “Titain Emet LeYaakov” (give truth to Yaakov) is interpreted by commentators (e.g., Metzudat David, MaLBIM)  as a plea for God to fulfill, i.e., make come “true,”  the various Promises Declared to Yaakov and his offspring,[1] [...]

From Our Archives: Parshat Vayishlach – War Ethics and Esav

November 18, 2010 by  
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Yitzchak Blau; Biblical Narratives and the Status of Enemy Civilians in Wartime A reoccurring theme in this week’s parsha is military expeditions.  In this essay, Yitzchak Blau talks about the Jewish attitude to war,  with reference to this incident and with regard to its modern day interpretation. We further include the correspondence which it generated [...]

Haftarat Vayishlach: The Tragedy of Esav as It Plays Out in Our Day by Gidon Rothstein

November 17, 2010 by  
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Haftarat Vayishlah: The Book of Ovadiah When reality is too painful, we have two roads to take, being overwhelmed by sadness or learning to distance ourselves enough to continue functioning.  Oncologists know this challenge well, since they run the risk of getting too caught up in the tragedy of each lost patient or, almost equally [...]

Books of Interest: Jacob’s Family Dynamics by Gad Dishi

November 14, 2010 by  
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Gad Dishi, Jacob’s Family Dynamics:  Climbing the Rungs of the Ladder, Devorah Publishing/Urim Publications, 2010. This is an impressive first work on the story of Yaakov, focusing on the life and development of Yaakov and the central characters in his life.  Drawing upon a range of commentators – old and modern alike – as well [...]

From Our Archives: Parashat Vayetze and Tefillat Ha-Derech

November 11, 2010 by  
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William Etkin,     Jacob’s Cattle and Modern Genetics: A Scientific Midrash In the best tradition of Torah UMada, Etkin takes the scientific theories at the cutting edge of his field to solve a difficult part of our parsha. Aryeh Newman, The Centrality of Eretz Yisrael in Nachmanides As we begin those parshiot which describe the [...]

Parshat VaYetze: What’s in a Name? by Yaakov Bieler

November 9, 2010 by  
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It appears that, according to the Bible, the connotations and associations of the name that either a parent or God Himself bestows upon a particular child or adult, could play a major role in the individual’s personality development and sense of self.   Names that are positive and optimistic be readily understood to signify the hopes [...]

What Makes a Belief ‘Traditional’? The Case of Bittahon by Gidon Rothstein

November 8, 2010 by  
Filed under New Posts, Philosophy

In a recent article in Tradition (Summer 2010, 42:1) – now available for free download – R. Daniel Stein challenges Hazon Ish’s rejection of a particular definition of bittahon, trust in God.  A closer reading of the sources R. Stein references to prove his point shows that the topic raises thorny questions of when and [...]

From Our Archives: Parashat Toldot and R’ Steinsaltz Talmud

November 4, 2010 by  
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Rivka: The Enigma Behind The Veil – Esther Shkop (2002) Esther Shkop takes us through some the central questions about Rivka’s character,  with a particular focus on her conduct at the end of this weeks parsha. A Midrash on Morality or When is a Lie Permissible – Norman Frimer (1973) A fascinating piece on the [...]

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