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Daily Archives: November 25, 2019

The Faith of Music

The Torah describes the song of the Israelites, after crossing the Sea of Reeds, in the future tense: אז ישיר משה ובני ישראל את השירה הזאת Moshe and the Israelites will then sing that song… The Midrash comments that this refers to the song which will be chanted at the…

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Embracing Life

At first sight the laws of Nazir, detailed in Parashat Nasso, seem to suggest that the Torah encourages people to take upon themselves vows of abstinence. A closer, contextual reading, makes it clear that the life of a hermit, away from society and from the world’s bounty, is not the…

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What Did Ham Do?

Noah, the man of the land, started [rebuilding after the flood] by planting a vineyard. He drank of the wine, became inebriated, and exposed himself naked in his tent. Ham, Canaan’s father, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside the tent. Shem and Yephet took the robe…

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Omer – Keep Counting!

Counting the Omer is a beautiful concept. It emphasizes the importance of gradual development, echoing the physical and spiritual journey of our ancestors from slaves in Egypt to a liberated, monotheistic nation at Mount Sinai. Unfortunately, the demand to keep track of the count and make sure one counts every…

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Heifer-Therapy

No matter how well-prepared we are, mentally and emotionally, for the inevitable loss of a close relative or a dear friend, when death strikes, we experience shock, grief, disbelief, and anger. We don’t understand how can the world move on, functioning efficiently as if nothing happened, as if our lives…

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Reading Between the Lines

For Parashat VaYeshev I have a confession to make. I love Tanakh. Obsessed with Tanakh. I go back to familiar verses and read them over and over again, looking for unturned stones under which I find treasures. At times, I feel that commentary takes away from the beauty and dynamics…

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Torn Between Father and God

In his royal chambers, covered in fine Egyptian linen sheets, Zaphenat Pa’aneah, aka Joseph the Hebrew, wakes up screaming, awash in cold sweat. His wife, the delicate noblewoman Asenath, finds his shaking hand and holds it, whispering “you had that nightmare again, honey?” Her husband is too startled to talk,…

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