Tagged with Bible

The Yamim Nora’im of Nisan

Question: At what time of the year is it proper and appropriate for us to pray that we have a decent government? On Rosh Hodesh Nisan, which is the New Year’s day for Jewish kings? Answer: According to our sages, three times a day on weekdays, and that’s the message of some of the blessings … Continue reading

Parasha Notes: Yithro 5779

Parasha Notes: Yithro 5779

The book of Exodus, like the rest of the Pentateuch, has a discernible structure, consisting of a number of intersecting chiasms, recurring themes, and heavy use of symbolism, all of which I have written about in the past. One of the more subtle themes of the book is the development of the character of Moses. … Continue reading

The Primordial Light of Genesis

The Primordial Light of Genesis

The primordial light and darkness can be understood as a parable for good and evil. Clues: God creates light, and although in our physicality darkness is the absence of light, which we know to be made of distinct quanta, the “darkness” seems, according to the plain meaning of the text, to be an entity unto … Continue reading

Parasha Notes: B’reishith 5779

Parasha Notes: B’reishith 5779

Notice the following about parashath hashabbath, the paragraph that describes the seventh day of creation, Genesis 2:1-3: it does not say “and there was morning and there evening, the seventh day,”  or “the sabbath day.” This is unusual because all the other days are concluded with such a formula. Further, all though it does mention … Continue reading

לקחי ירבעם לימינו

לקחי ירבעם לימינו

יש לשאול, למה לא ראה ירבעם לקבוע חגים גם תחת פסח ושבועות, ולמה הוא העמיד בתי במות בבית אל ובדן, ולא בשכם, פנואל, ותרצה, הערים שהיו בירותיו, ולמה מלכי ישראל שהמשיכו בדרכיו השאירו את הבמות מחוץ לשומרון בירתם? ויש לומר שאולי ברצונו היה לשנות את תאריכי כל העליות לרגל, אבל לא יכל, דהנה כל העם … Continue reading

The Lessons of Jeroboam for Our Times

The Lessons of Jeroboam for Our Times

A few years ago, I was bothered by two questions, for which, thank God, I was recently able to find answers based on the primary sources, and to my satisfaction. The first was, why did Jeroboam only create a festival to replace Tabernacles, and not also replacements for Passover and Pentecost? Second, why did Jeroboam … Continue reading

The High Places and the Ark of the Covenant

The High Places and the Ark of the Covenant

The Mishna states (Z’vahim 14:5-7, from here): When [the Israelites] came to Gilgal [and stationed the Tabernacle there], bamoth [lit. “high places,” altars and the like used for private ritual sacrifice] were permitted[, while public offerings were performed at Gilgal by the priests]… This situation persisted during the fourteen years of the conquest and division of … Continue reading

תקבולות ורמזים למגילת אסתר בפרשת כי תשא

תקבולות ורמזים למגילת אסתר בפרשת כי תשא

שמו של מרדכי מקורו בתרגומו של מר דרור, מירא דכיא, בהתחלת הפרשה. משה עומד בשער המחנה וקורא ליהודים לעזוב ההשתחויה לצלמים, אפילו עם היא לא לשם עבודת אלילים, כמו שמרדכי יושב בשער המלך וקורא ומסרב להשתחוות להמן. עם ישראל מאויים בשהשמדת כל כולו, וניצל על ידי תפלה וצום, וכן ליהודים במגילה. משה מבקש שה’ יפליא … Continue reading

Parashath Zachor and the Six Remembrances in Halachic Context

Parashath Zachor and the Six Remembrances in Halachic Context

This brings us to the issue of the Shesh Z’chiroth, the Six Remembrances, printed in many siddurim after the daily morning prayers. According to Artscroll. “The Torah commands that six events be remembered always. Consequently, some authorities maintain that the verses containing these commandments should be recited daily.” The OU’s website says this (twice, for … Continue reading

Parashath Zachor: Remember What, Exactly? Part 4

Parashath Zachor: Remember What, Exactly? Part 4

(Part 3) As Parashath Zachor rolls around, I am reminded about how the sages saw a positive aspect of Haman’s decrees (Megilla 14a): “The king removed his ring and gave it to Haman.” R Abba b. Kahana said: This removal of the ring was more efficacious than the forty-eight prophets and seven prophetesses who prophesied … Continue reading