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Tag Archives: Midrash

Making Partner (Vayetze)

Preview: The midrashic partnership between Yissachar may have its textual origins in a much older partnership: that of Rachel and Leah, which immediately preceded the birth of these two boys.

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The Men in the Middle (Balak)

Preview: Yitro and Bilaam were both religious leaders of Midian. One became a good friend of Israel’s while the other set out to destroy them. Why?

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You Can’t See Me (Ki Tissa)

Preview: On the meaning of the curious phrase, “man shall not see Me and live” – including parallels between Moshe, Eliyahu, and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

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Look Who’s Talking (Shemot)

Preview: Why would Hashem choose a leader with a “heavy tongue and heavy mouth” to act as His spokesman to Pharaoh? For a clue, let’s look to an unlikely source: the “Tale of the Eloquent Peasant,” a very popular ancient Egyptian story about a man of great oratory skills who advocated for justice before the Pharaoh. Plus, other approaches.

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Plea for Privacy (Chayei Sarah)

Preview: The tent as a symbol of privacy in Tanach, and how that symbol manifests in the lives of Avraham/Sarah vs. Yitzchak/Rivkah.

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It’s a Generational Thing (Noah)

Preview: Noach’s parshah begins the same way Yitzchak’s does: אלה תולדות נח vs. אלה תולדות יצחק. But Noach’s parshah is traditionally called “Noach” while Yitzchak’s is traditionally called “Generations.” Why? Exploring the surprising parallels (and “anti-parallels”) between these two may highlight the critical distinction between these two great men.

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On One Foot (Kedoshim)

Preview: Midrash analysis: What’s the symbolism of learning the entire Torah “on one foot?” Perhaps the implication is that conclusions reached from such a posture are fundamentally unbalanced. To practice “halacha” properly, one must eventually place both feet on the ground. Plus, commentary on the phrase “כלל גדול בתורה.”

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