Rabbi Avi Billet
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On a whim, I checked out the website of a renowned Judaica store to see what’s available these days. That the only Judaica I really buy these days are books, and I felt a little out of … more
One of the most revealing moments in the beginning of Parshat Bo comes when Pharaoh’s officials say to him, in advance of the pending plague of locusts, “How long will this [man] … more
When one reads through Parshat Shemot, one can easily become engrossed in Moshe’s story. Whether it’s the defiance of Pharaoh’s decree by placing him in a basket; whether it’s the anonymous women in 2:1-10 who save him more
By the time Yaakov dies at age 147, in parashat Vayechi,his sons range in age from 62 (Reuven) to 56 (Yosef, Zevulun, and possibly Asher), to around 48 (Binyamin). As we know how old Yosef is … more
After a cliffhanger at the end of last week’s Torah portion, our parsha, Vayigash, opens with arguably the most impassioned plea in all of the Bible — Yehuda pouring out his heart to … more
Reading through Chapter 42 from a panoramic perspective of history, one sees a premonition of many things in store for the descendants of Yaakov. The best way to read it is in the original Hebrew, … more
When we look at Chapter 38 of Bereishit, there are many questions. Timeline questions: Did Yehuda marry before or after the sale of Yosef? How old was Tamar? How old were Yehuda’s sons? How … more
When Yaakov first arrived in Haran, he encountered shepherds waiting at a well. It might have been the same well where his mother met Eliezer 97 years earlier. And if it was, things had certainly … more
In the last two weeks, I’ve been seeing a mix of reactions to the tragic massacre at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. I don’t know how many people are living on the edge, … more
Sarah dies, and Avraham approaches the local Hittites and asks to speak to Ephron ben Tzochar, “that he should give me to me the Machpelah cave at the edge of his field, for its full price, … more
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