Parashat Lech Lecha


As for you Abraham, you shall go to your fathers in peace, you shall be buried in ripe old age. For Rashi, this promise consists of two elements - "go to your fathers in peace" means that Abraham's father will join his son's faith and "you shall be buried in ripe old age," means that

Parashat Lech Lecha2020-11-06T12:56:48+08:00

Parashat Bereshit


After the rejection of his sacrifice and before the murder of Abel, God offers Cain some advice: If you will improve, you will carry, and if you will not improve, at the doorway sin will crouch. This verse is notoriously unclear. Robert Alter writes that "any construction is no more than an educated guess." A Koznitzer Rebbe

Parashat Bereshit2020-10-15T19:57:46+08:00

Hoshanah Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah


We can unpack a cryptic comment of the Vilna Gaon: together with the water, our final judgment is sealed on Sukkot. At the beginning of creation, God divided water (mayim) from water. Some water ended up in the world below and some stayed in the Heavens (shamayim) above. The lower waters lamented their distance from God,

Hoshanah Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah2020-10-09T09:36:25+08:00



Sukkot is the last of the three pilgrimage festivals. On Passover we received our physical freedom and it remains a physical, tactile holiday. On Shavuot we received the Torah, a spiritual teaching; it remains a spiritual holiday with no special commandments. These festivals lead us to Sukkot. On the one hand, Sukkot is a physical

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