Category Archives: Parshat Hashavua

Caste and Privilege: Bechora and Bechira in Sefer Bereishit

Watching the drama unfold when Yaakov blesses Yosef’s sons in Parshat Vayechi (see Bereishit 48:13-22), two questions emerge: Why does Yaakov elect to bless Yosef’s sons (or Yosef himself, if you prefer) before blessing his older sons? And why does Yaakov switch … Continue reading

Posted in Parshat Hashavua | 1 Comment

Pharaoh’s Man Problem and the Birth of Jewish Exceptionalism

Did Pharaoh have a problem with men? Or did he have a larger agenda in ordering the boys to be killed? Exploring two parallel stories – the first near the beginning of Parshat Lech Lecha, the second spanning the end … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Parshat Hashavua, Pesach | Leave a comment

Parshat Pinchas: Advocacy and Partnership in Zealotry

This past week we read one of rarest of all Haftarot (thanks to Shlomo for this link), one that has not been read since 2005 and will not be read again until 2035. What makes the Haftarah so rare is … Continue reading

Posted in Communal Matters, Parshat Hashavua | Leave a comment

United We Fall, Divided We Stand: The Complicated Legacy of Aharon

Who was Aharon? Certainly, if one were to write a biography of our first Kohen Gadol, this week’s Parsha of Ki Tisa would play a prominent role. Yet Aharon’s role in the story of the Chet Ha’egel (Golden Calf) is … Continue reading

Posted in Parshat Hashavua | Leave a comment

The Jew-Brew, Part 2 – Yitzchak’s Prayer: Human Intimacy as Metaphor for Divine Connection

Previously we have explored the role of faith in the creation of the Jewish People. What other ingredients needed to be discovered and added to the embryo that would eventually develop into our Nation? Let’s proceed further into Parshat Toldot: … Continue reading

Posted in Parshat Hashavua | Leave a comment

Parshat Shoftim: The Punishment of Not Being Punished

Parshat Shoftim includes a dire warning for those idol-worshiping nations with whom the Jews are unable to establish a peace treaty: דברים פרק כ (יג) … וּנְתָנָהּ ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וְהִכִּיתָ אֶת כָּל זְכוּרָהּ לְפִי חָרֶב: (יד) רַק הַנָּשִׁים וְהַטַּף … Continue reading

Posted in Parshat Hashavua, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur | Leave a comment

Under the Altar and Dreaming: Sustaining עקידה in a World of Choice

I have been swamped with work lately and unable to post, leaving me with a backlog of ideas for later. Meanwhile, I was thinking over Shabbat about an essay I wrote about ten years ago when I was taking an … Continue reading

Posted in Parshat Hashavua | Leave a comment