A man is approaching. Do I smile and nod, or do I look the other way? He’s looking at me; do I turn my head to respond or do I look out at the trees?
Reflections on "mirror images"
It is unwise to see contemporary events as exact replays of Biblical history, but it is valuable to recognize that Torah and tradition offer narratives of hop--as well as gloom--about Jewish national relationships
Sarah Imeinu was a strong, emotionally stable woman. She had unshakable bitachon, having lived through many trials and travails.
A dog that barks much is never a good hunter. -Proverb
Avraham and Sarah ended up in the land of Canaan. Canaan? The most debased and decadent society! Yet, there Avraham and Sarah build their destiny and shape world history. Canaan actually held the key to Avraham and Sarah's redemption.
"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...
Yishmael’s challenge was whether to come back at all. Having been so clearly rejected, why would he want to have anything more to do with his father Avraham?
That understanding is enough to evoke terror in any man’s heart, and we can certainly understand why he didn’t move.
Arrogance and the punishment of Angels
Religion must face the question of how its followers should behave while members of a corrupt society. How should they relate to the norms of that society, especially when those norms are embodied in law?
Who are these beings? Why do they play such important roles in the stories of Genesis? Why are the stories of the beginnings of humanity so rich with characters so unfamiliar?
There are many potential spiritual hazards. How can we survive?
Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.
The commentators agree that Hashem is the beloved and Shabbos is the bride. But why is Shabbos called a bride? Who is she marrying? And what do we mean when we invite Hashem to greet the Shabbos bride with us?
When we are driven out of our complacency by a wrong we don't know what the perfect world will look like. We only know that we can't allow the world as it stands to continue. The need to leave home is clearer to us than our destination. Lekh Lekha.
The benefits of sacrificing-but not TOO much
In the first conversation HaShem had with him, Avraham was told to live in Israel, or in modern terms, make Aliyah.
The purpose of the mabul was to recreate a world that had been infected with man's evil. After the flood, that changed and the world was no longer affected in the same way by man's actions.
Our hishtadlus (efforts) and our bitachon (trust in Hashem) have to be balanced.
Adam's two Fermatas resonate in the two Noahs, and the notes continue to reverberate in our souls as we struggle to retain our connection to the Garden,
But the question of Noach and global warming can be understood as a theological rather than a factual question: Are there any circumstances under which G-d would allow the human race to be destroyed?
What possible comparison is there between this simple mitzvah of leaving a portion to the poor man and the colossal mitzvah of bringing all of the sacrifices on each holiday?
Rather than keeping it only to herself, Chava showed her love for her husband by sacrificing her own consumption of the fruit, allowing him to eat part of it instead.
You’ve never stared down the barrel of a gun before – at least not a real one.