Hard to Convince – Beshallah 5783

As a rabbinical student, I learned that should anyone generate a novel understanding of the text (hiddush, in Hebrew), two questions need be asked: first, is this novel understanding of the text correct? and second, why has no one thought of this before? These two...

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The Finger of God – Veara 5783

Pharaoh remained unimpressed. Turning a staff into a snake was a feat easily repeated by Egyptian magicians (Exodus 7:11).  And even after Moses’ snake swallowed up the magically crated ones, Pharaoh was unmoved. Turning water into blood fared no better. Pharaoh’s...

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Taking Initiative – VaYakhel 5782

Moses calls together the entire Israelite nation and reports on the instructions he received from God regarding the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:2­–19). Following the warning against engaging in any constructive work on Shabbat, Moses reminds the people...

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Always Rely on God – Tetzaveh 5782

In the recent book The Grammar of God, author Aviyah Kushner demonstrates how the remarkable attentiveness the rabbis gave to the words of the text and their usage yielded nuggets of wisdom that untrained readers could never mine. While what follows does not appear in...

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Words to Live By

What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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