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Tag Archives: Hashem

Why Envy? (Korach)

Preview: Rashi claims that Datan and Aviram where the men who collected excess mann earlier in the Torah. What is motivating this claim? A series of pointed textual parallels, it seems – and deep insight into the nature of envy.

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Reaching Out (Pesach)

Preview: The story of Pesach is the story of three “outstretched arms:” first, the daughter of Pharaoh, when reaching for baby Moshe; second, Hashem, when rescuing b’nei Yisrael; third, b’nei Yisrael, when leaving Egypt, and again during the battle with Amalek.

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Seeing Stars (Ki Tissa)

Preview: Rashi, citing the midrash, claims that Pharaoh foresaw the incident of the Golden Calf during the plague of locusts. Underlying that claim are a series of remarkable textual parallels between the two incidents: locusts and Golden Calf. What are they, and what do they mean?

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Home Improvement (Terumah)

Preview: The building of the Tabernacle was the nation’s second major construction project. Their first major construction project was the building of store houses in Egypt. On the uncanny relationship between the two: mishkenot vs. miskenot.

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On the Heels (Ekev)

Preview: The idiomatic use of “ekev” – “because;” “on the heels” – is exceedingly rare in the Torah. In fact, it may function as a technical term of sorts, for it appears in the Torah only five times in total, and always in the context of Hashem’s pledge concerning the Promised Land. Small wonder that we find textual parallels between all these texts. What do they mean?

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Willful Blindness (Vayera)

Preview: On the theme of “seeing”/”sight” in our parshah – and why Avimelech plays a much more central role in the story of Avraham and of his descendants than we typically appreciate.

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The Burden Bearers (Bamidbar)

Preview: How come the “chieftains” (נשיאים) that appear in Bamidbar, Nasso (twice) and Behaalotcha, are suddenly replaced with a different group of “chieftains” at the start of Shelach?

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The Deleted Scene (Vaetchanan)

Preview: Moshe’s prayer to enter the land was private. It was never mentioned in the first four books of the Torah. So why did Moshe divulge it, in sefer Devarim? Perhaps to rebuke the people; perhaps to ask for their prayers; perhaps to emphasize that they should not take for granted the opportunity lying before them; perhaps to teach them that “sometimes, a father says no.” Plus, reflections on the recurring phrase, “רב לך.”

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