Torah Columns
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Before they went out of style, mother-in-law jokes were very popular. Have you ever heard of a father-in-law joke? I suppose if anyone were to author such a joke, it would be our forefather … more
Parashat Vayetze informs us that Rachel, like Sarah and Rivka before her, was barren. Finally, after many long years, the Torah states, “vayizkor Elokim et Rachel (and G-d remembered Rachel), … more
How do you define “maturity”? The dictionary definition asserts that it is a state of being full-grown, ripe, or fully developed. But I think that the common man gives a subjective … more
Why Jacob? That is the question we find ourselves asking repeatedly as we read the narratives of Genesis. Jacob is not what Noah was: righteous, perfect in his generations, one who walked with … more
One of the fun exercises I like to employ when studying Chumash is to attribute vague or ambiguous statements to the less obvious person. Let us read two familiar verses in Chapter 27. We’ll … more
The beginning of our parasha, Toldos, focuses on Yitzchak and Rivka. Unfortunately, like Sarah and Rachel, Rivka was initially unable to conceive: And Yitzchak prayed to … more
Once, in the midst of a class, I noticed a student’s eyes begin to water. We were having a discussion about identity, and how we tap into who we really are. In tears, he explained how he had … more
The professor was wrong. But in his field of expertise he was always right. His name was Dr. Dennis Wrong, and his surname made him the object of much teasing, at least during his childhood. He … more
In this week’s sedra, Toldos, we see Isaac as the parent of two very different sons. The boys grew up. Esau became a skilful hunter, a man of the outdoors; but Jacob was a mild man who … more
One of the major themes of our parasha is the death and burial of Sarah Emanu in Ma’arat HaMachpelah. Another, found in the subsequent chapter, focuses on Eliezer finding Yitzchak’s … more
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