As mentioned in our last essay (here) the Torah is not a text to be read as a book—rather, it is to be seen as a divine “notebook” containing succinct summaries of a greater lecture or series of lectures. Moshe first heard the lecture in its “sum total” when God delivered a series of lectures […]
The text of the Torah can be quite misleading when read in a vacuum. The casual reader may encounter what he deems to be errors, stylistic inconsistencies, grammar and linguistic anomalies, and more.
However, prior knowledge – and primarily a basic understanding of what the Torah text truly is and what the goals of its divine author are – are the keys to properly understanding any and every word of the sacred text.
Winter – bleak, dreary and cold – often has a negative effect on our moods and even outlooks. The message of Sukkot, The Festival of Tabernacles, must be continued into this period of darkness and, indeed, into our lives.
The Sukkah is a structure that is quite plain and feeble by definition and requirement, and yet it interior and significance are tremendously beautiful and solid. Our lives can be greatly enriched and understood and even assigned deep purpose when we understand the Sukkah.
Traveling through a desert is journeying through a lonely place, completely forsaken. There is neither food nor water, nor any other form of sustaining substance. There is only the unbearable sun and its heat. There is no grass and there are no trees. The only signs of life are deadly snakes and scorpions. In a […]
I was asked to eulogize an acquaintance from my childhood and youth in Holland—the mother of friends of mine. As I prepared the eulogy, I realized how much she and her family, and other devout Christians I knew, had influenced me. Despite the clear and definite differences between our religious outlooks, their sincerity and intent inspire me.