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The Wheel Deal (Pesach)

Preview: A famous midrash claims that “a maidservant at the Sea of Reeds saw/perceived what even Yechezkel son of Buzi did not.” What’s motivating this midrash? Perhaps it’s the pointed parallels between the splitting of the sea and Yechezkel’s “vision of the chariot.”

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You Can Say That Again (Shavuot)

Preview: We usually associate the “haggadah” with the holiday of Pesach. But is there such a thing as a “Shavuot haggadah?” You bet! In fact, its text appears in the Torah itself – and we actually recite it on Pesach night. A short thought on the relationship between the mitzvah of “v’higaddeta” on Pesach and the mitzvah of “higaddeti” on Shavuot.

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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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Rise and Shine (Pesach)

Preview: How the rabbinic rules surrounding the recitation of shema play off the Biblical account of the plague of darkness.

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The Moments in the Middle (Sefirat HaOmer / Shavuot)

Preview: There are three “counts of seven” in the Torah: the seven days of shiva neki’im, the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, and the seven sabbatical years between jubilees. What’s the relationship between these periods of time?

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Are We There Yet? (Bo)

Preview: There’s a curious focus on the packing of “provisions” (צדה) that we find when b’nei Yisrael travel between Egypt and Canaan in Yosef’s days; and again, on the eve of the exodus in the book of Shemot; and again during their entry into the land in the days of Yehoshua. What’s its significance, and how is it related to the concept of “tarrying” (להתמהמה) – another concept that crops up a lot in these contexts?

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Waterless Pits (Vayeshev)

Preview: On the theory, noticed by others, that the Korban Pesach recalls the sale of Yosef – and how Zechariah may have alluded to this.

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