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Preview: If you read closely, you’ll notice something most peculiar: as it turns out, the sin of chet ha’egel unfolds in ways eerily reminiscent of the way that the confrontation with Amalek did. What are the connections, and what do they mean?
Preview: Why is Simchat Torah celebrated when it is? Perhaps because that is actually when the world’s very first cycle of Torah study was instituted. In fact, that’s a conclusion we might be able to arrive at using little more than the chronology available to us in the Torah itself.
Preview: A theory: Moshe’s leprosy is directly linked to Miriam’s: only because Moshe doubted himself did others begin to as well. Ironically, his concerns – that others would question his prophetic abilities – became their own self-fulfilling prophecy.
Preview: “Hashem told us at Sinai: Enough standing around this mountain!” Read properly, this, in effect, is the first line of Moshe’s valedictory address. What a wild way to begin one’s goodbye – and what a curious way to summarize the experience at Sinai! Why start this way?
Preview: No less than four times throughout the Torah do we find the tribesmen of Levi taking justice into their own hands, by taking the lives of those deemed deserving of death. In other words, those responsible for running the arei miklat—those tasked with discouraging the practice of vigilante justice—were none other than the nation’s most prominent vigilantes. What’s going on?
Preview: It seems the “bitter waters” central to the sotah ritual ought to be understood in light of the “bitter waters” which b’nei Yisrael drank shortly after Moshe and Miriam led them in “shirat ha-yam.” Also relevant in this vein: the deep-running contrast between Miriam and the sotah.
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.