Torah Columns
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In January 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, at the behest of his boss, Heinrich Himmler, convened a conference in a villa in Wansee, a suburb of Berlin. Some of the top hierarchy of the Nazi party and … more
Our parasha, Vaera, contains five instances of the term, “taida — that you know,” as found in the context of the eser makkot (10 Plagues). The Ramban (Nachmanides, 1194-1270) … more
Parshat Vayera opens with one of the most famous scenes in the Bible: Abraham’s meeting with three enigmatic strangers. The text calls them men. We later discover that they were in fact … more
There was a time when I was fascinated by the great psychoanalytic thinkers, chief among them Sigmund Freud, whose attitude towards his Jewish origins piqued my curiosity. Although … more
One of the most difficult questions we face when looking at the narrative of the plagues in this week’s parsha, Vaera, in understanding verse 3 in chapter 7. In explaining how the plagues … more
One of the more mysterious narratives in the Torah concerns what is likely the final trip back to Egypt after the burning bush (the midrash suggests Moshe went back and forth a number of times, … more
She is one of the most unexpected heroes of the Hebrew Bible. Without her, Moses might not have lived and the story of the Exodus would have been different. Yet she was not an Israelite. She had … more
Twenty-one-year-old Zvika Greengold had just been accepted into the prestigious Company Commanders course and given two weeks’ leave. He was home on his Kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta’ot near … more
The two old men couldn’t have been more different from each other. Yet they both taught me the identical life lesson. The first, a cagey old Irishman, was one of my mentors in the … more
I was very embarrassed by her sharp rebuke. But looking back, I realize that the lesson I learned from her brief criticism was more valuable than most of my other training experiences. It … more
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