Torah Columns
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By any standards it was a shocking episode. Jacob had settled on the outskirts of the town of Shechem, ruled by Hamor. Dina, Jacob’s daughter, goes out to see the town. Shechem, Hamor’s … more
You don’t hear much about them, and sometimes you don’t even know their names, but they are the true heroes and heroines in our lives and in our times. It was also true in biblical times … more
Anger is one of life’s greatest challenges. Who can resist and overcome its formidable temptations? There is a fascinating moment in this week’s parsha of Vayishlach that … more
Sefer Bereshis presents three celebrated name changes that were declared by the Almighty or one of His angels. The first two were Avram and Sarai, whose names were changed to Avraham and Sarah. … more
One of the more fascinating family relationships in the Torah surrounds that of Yaakov with his wives, and that of the wives themselves with one another. The following discussion of parsha Vayetze is … more
What kind of man was Jacob? This is the question that cries out to us in episode after episode of his life. The first time we hear a description of him he is called ish tam, a simple, quiet, … more
At the end of every command-course in the Israeli army, a questionnaire known as a Sociometric test is given to each cadet. It’s a pretty simple form: each soldier is asked to list five fellow … more
One of the great benefits of visiting communities where I once lived and taught is the opportunity to meet people who were my students long ago. I enjoy reconnecting with them and am occasionally … more
Even before they were born, Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb. They were destined, it seems, to be eternal adversaries. Not only were they were different in character and appearance. They also … more
Abraham, the Sages were convinced, was a greater religious hero than Noah. We hear this in the famous dispute among the Sages about the phrase that Noah was “perfect in his generations,” … more
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