Seven is possibly the most significant number in Jewish Thought.
The art--and history--of Jewish communication.
How did the Jews find grace in the eyes of the Egyptians, receiving gifts from their Egyptian neighbors as they left, when they were perceived as the source of all the plagues and destruction?
In our day of media over-reporting, we often think that we should know everything about our leaders. Perhaps it is better to know too little than too much. For when it comes to ethics, the Torah spares no one in reporting what falls short of the mark.
If Ya’akov’s words to Pharaoh were just an exercise in self-mortification about what was too late to change, there would be little to learn from them. But if, as is more likely, they represented part of a strategy of how to continue improving, there is actually a great deal we can learn from them.
Yosef’s struggle with his brothers was ideological, whether we are to influence the world by example from the private and safe existence of our tent (the brothers), or whether take more risks by going outside and being heavily involved with the rest of civilization (Yosef)
Ya’akov did not pray for Rachel to conceive because he did not believe in "forcing God’s hand." He asks, “Am I instead of God? God knows best whether to give children or not. All I can do is ask.”
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?
The benefits of sacrificing-but not TOO much
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.
Sukkot is a holiday that brings a unique inner peace – a peace that would seem to resemble the messianic era, a universal acceptance of God’s moral and spiritual order; an order that is best advanced by helping the Jewish people serve God and further educate mankind.
It seems important for the Torah’s central prophet to have been someone with whom gentiles could identify. And being buried outside of Israel may well have been part of that
Moshe saw all the Jews as one whole, it was the ones in front of him who served as the representatives for all those who had lived and would live in the future.
The Torah's standard for convicting a criminal is set much higher than many contemporary systems of law, that accept one witness. In practice, that means the Torah prefers to let criminals off, rather than punish the innocent
Is the source for saying Birkat HaMazon as obvious as we normally assume?
As the Jewish nation and the Jewish state become more powerful, we have a greater responsibility to contribute more resources to developing nations. It would be a Kiddush HaShem.
Moshe was not able to see that Yehoshua was fit for the job. On some level, this seems strange considering their long-standing relationship.
The water supply in the wilderness had been dependent on Miriam’s presence. Hence, as soon as she dies, the Jews had no water. In turn, that lack brought about Moshe's disastrous interaction at the boulder.
Yehoshua and Calev's mistake was what they could have done earlier: They must have known their colleagues’ negative inclination. The Torah’s silence on whether they tried to change the mind of the other spies speaks to their own silence as well.
Three laws seemingly unconnected and out of place: theft from a convert; sotah; and nazir. Why are they here, in Parshat naso?
Behar is primarily about ways to prevent Jews from descending into cycles of poverty; Bechukotai reinforces the laws of Vayikra by spelling out the consequences of following or not following the laws
With the 10 Commandments, G-d is described as the One who took the Jews out of Egypt. In Parshat Kedoshim, He is described simply as being "holy." Both phrases set the tone for the list that follows.
The Meshech Chochmah states that had Israel not sinned with the golden calf, God would not have punished Aharon’s sons so severely.
In commenting on the story of Nadav and Avihu, Aharon’s two sons who died while presenting a fire offering to God, Rashi does something...
Appreciate that Pesach is NOT meant to end on the seventh day, but at Shavuot. With that in mind, we need to work harder to accept making the days of sefirat ha-omer into days akin to chol ha-moed