"A father of philosophy, the father of the Hebrews and his slave get together,,," sounds like the start of an ancient joke but read on...
Why is the kever of the Isha Hashunamis a special place for tefillos?
Avraham had many students, but there was only one who was truly devoted to knowing and understanding the ways of his teacher. That was Yitzchak.
I would assume that if Hashem appeared to someone, he would be obligated to remain in Hashem’s presence for as long as Hashem remained.
Who are these beings? Men to Avraham; Angels to Lot. Why do they play such important roles in Genesis? Why are the stories of the beginnings of humanity so rich with unfamiliar characters?
Abraham was not an isolationist concerned solely with his own interests. Regardless of how despicable the Sodomites were, Abraham started a surreal negotiation with G-d to save them.
Isn't it surprising that Avraham who prayed for Sodom's salvation did not protest God commanding him to kill his own son? For the Netziv, this was actually exactly what God wanted from Avraham. Why?
Abraham is a model of the Individual, of the non-conformist, of the person who will take a stand for what is right though it is unpopular. Indeed, Abraham carved his own path.
Why did Yaakov act strangely by crisscrossing his hands when he could have simply switched Ephraim and Menashe’s positions?
Is there any way to measure the value of life? Is it worth a million dollars? Ten million? A hundred billion? Is it even possible to put a value on our existence?
Why do we allow a Jew to shecht on Shabbos when there are other ways of providing the ill person with meat?
God just promised Abraham the land. Why is it that, though God keeps reassuring that this land is his, he refuses to settle down?
We meet two different Abrahams in the Torah text and the Midrash. The spiritual giant, hero, and Tzaddik of the Midrash is almost a phantom in the written text. Which is real?
While we read of tests of Avraham, it is clear that Sarah endured tests of her own. According to Ramban, she failed her test in her treatment of Hagar
B’chol dirachecha da’eihu, vehu yiyasher orchosecha – In all your ways know Him and He will smooth your paths
Rashi is troubled that thievery is being treated as the pivotal point of the world’s existence. There are many sins that are worse.
The Torah itself presents parallel narratives of the same stories, thereby showing that the same events can truthfully be constructed in more than one way.
As long as an individual is still alive and his possessions are still intact, they belong to him – and one may not steal them.
God doesn't need a slave to order and say: Build an ark! He could have made it in a second. God desires a partner. It is up to us to rise to that role. Noah's greatness was that he figured it out.
While turning points do not often announce themselves with a clarion call, there are, nonetheless, moments in our lives when the potential for major change is evident.
Parshas Bereishis is not only the first but arguably the most difficult parsha in the entire Torah. Let's begin...
"Saper vedere," - knowing how to see - informs our lives. Have we changed with the opportunities brought by the holidays> Have we kept our new lenses?
Before there was physicality, there was nothing to measure, so there was no system to measure height.
Though a woman helps her partner and remains his equal, she nurtures and thereby becomes a man's superior. Paradoxically, therefore, woman may be just a bit closer to the image of God than man.
It was not enough for Moshe to die by himself, however; his separation from family and nation had to be total, even after his death. And so his burial spot would need to be hidden from all.