April 13, 2024 |


Vayera -- Abraham's apostasy and the Akeda

From a standpoint of ordinary human ethics, Vayera is perhaps the most difficult of all the parashot. When we read the Akeda, those of us with children shudder at the thought of a man unhinged enough to offer up his own son as a sacrifice, and cringe at a G-d who would put him to that kind of test....

Three For The Road

Shmini Atzeret - "The Eighth Day" Shemini means "the eighth". "Atzeret" can mean either a festival (as in II Chronicles 7:9), a solemn gathering (as in Joel 1:14) or a lingering, from the Hebrew root "to stop" or "to pause." In the Jewish calendar, atzeret is associated with the number 8, or 7+1....

Speaking Truth to Power

Among the legends of the Jews are stories about the Golem, an 'unfinished', or artificial man. By Kabbalistic means, this Frankenstein could be temporarily animated to do one's bidding. Some of the Talmudic sages were reputed to have had this ability. Apocryphal stories claim that the great...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Bereshit (3)

Bill Maher is a very funny guy but when it comes to religion he not only goes overboard, he sometimes gets it wrong. Last week Maher, an outspoken atheist, joked that God couldn't be too powerful if, after creating the universe in six days, he was "pooped" on the seventh. However, as we see in...

Video divrei Torah from rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

My Video dvrei Torah Let us make man in our Image according to our likeness (google)Voyager, Earth,100 million species & Genesis JewU 248 Youtube Creationism Evolution A Jewish View JewU 84 Youtube Torah Portion Breisheit Genesis JewU Youtube

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Bereshit (2)

We start the Torah anew with Parshah Bereshit. At the climax of the creation story we get this curious statement: “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’” (Gen. 1:26) “Us?” Who’s “us?” God is One, and the rabbis are clear that no one was helping Him in the creation, so...

The Empathy of Israel

i Jacob wrestles an angel, at night, before meeting with his brother Esau. Jacob has not seen Esau for more than twenty years. Jacob fears that Esau may want to kill him. * The angel changes Jacob's name. The angel calls Jacob, <em> Yisrael</em>: Israel. For, the angel says to Jacob, of...

The Upheaval of Knowing of God is Creation

<p>I i Jacob has a dream of a ladder going to Heaven, and of God's angels upon the ladder, and of God speaking to him. </p> <p> When Jacob awakes he says: <em>God was in this place and I did not know.</em></p> <p>*<br/> He renames the place where he slept. He calls the place: <em>Beit...


God punishes the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah <em>because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous.</em> * Angels disguised as men come to Sodom. <em>The men of the city…both young and old, all the people from every quarter, </em>surround the house...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Bereshit

As we start the Torah anew with Parshah Bereshit, think about the very first verse. Should we read it as “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth?” Or as “When God began to create heaven and earth?” How about, “In the beginning of God’s creating of the heaven and the earth?” All...


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