Category: Torah

The Ten Plagues of … Israel

Pesach 5772 / 2012 Why the ten plagues of Israel, and not Egypt? A midrashic suggestion Exodus tells the story of ten plagues that afflicted Egypt, prior to the flight of the Israelites into the desert. Why are the plagues

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Vayishlach 5772 – Jacob wrestles, and becomes himself

What’s in a name? Jacob wrestling at Yabok (Gen 32:23-33) Today’s story can say something, I think, to everyone, because it is about an ish tam, a simple, normal man, an average person, Jacob, in a normal family, that is to

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Mah Tovu No. 1

Mah tovu ohalecha Ya’akov, mishk’notecha Yisrael. “How good are your tents, O Jacob, how pleasant your dwellings.” (Num 24:5) When the renowned magician Bilam was commissioned by King Balak to curse the Israelites, despite all his best efforts, Bilam found

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Seven Tryptichs on the Shema

The Rabbis juxtaposed the three separate paragraphs of the Shema, because they touched on so many themes and layers of meaning central to Judaism. Reading the Shema therefore enables us to fulfill the commandment to study Torah (Berachot 60b). For

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