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Rabbi Yakov Nagen

Rabbi Yakov Nagen

Rabbi Dr. Yakov Nagen (Genack) is the Rosh Kollel of Yeshivat Otniel, a Hesder Yeshiva in the Hebron Hills. He is a Musmach of RIETS and a PhD in Jewish Philosophy from the Hebrew University. His books, in Hebrew, include “Nishmat HaMishna,” a literary and philosophical approach to the Mishna, “Water, Creation and Divinity: Sukkot in the Philosophy of Halacha” and “Awaking to a New Day: Stories and Insights from Life.”

Parshat Behalotcha: Stop Complaining!

June 8, 2012, by

Throughout the book of Bamidbar there are long list of misdoings: the longing for the “good old days” in Egypt, despising the Manna given by G-d and demanding instead meat, the report of the spies, the rebellion led by Korach against Moshe and Aaron’s authority. On the surface these are a variety of sins, in […]

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Parshat Naso: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

May 31, 2012, by

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” the title of the famous Clint Eastwood movie, would make a good title for our Parsha as well. During the course of the Parsha, we are introduced to very colorful and varied figures including the thief, the adulteress, the leper, the Cohen and the Nazir. Undoubtedly, the most […]

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Parshat Bamidbar: People are Not Numbers

May 24, 2012, by

The fourth book of the Torah in Hebrew is called Bamidbar, meaning, “in the desert”. In English however it is called “Numbers”, which as we shall see is a serious misnomer. On memorial days in Israel, whether for victims of the Holocaust or for soldiers who have fallen is Israel’s wars, one often hears the […]

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Parshat Emor: Cosmos and History

May 11, 2012, by

Mircea Eliade, a leading scholar of religions during the twentieth century, contrasted two conceptions of time. Cosmic time is circular whereas historical time is progressive. The cosmic conception of time was prevalent in ancient times and reflected the world of nature in which the seasons reoccur each year. Despite being a fascist anti-Semite, Eliade credited […]

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Parshat Kedoshim: Love or Beloved?

May 4, 2012, by

According to Rabbi Akiva, the central principle of the Torah, found in our Parsha, is to love others, וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ. Despite this, many of us seek love in the opposite direction. More than we aspire to love others, we hope for others to love us. However, the key to happiness isn’t by being beloved […]

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Parshat Metzora: Biography Become Biography

April 27, 2012, by

Miriam, Moshe’s sister, received leprosy for speaking ill of Moshe. From this the midrash derives that leprosy, is a punishment for the sin of lashon hara, speaking ill of others. The meaning of this punishment is that the evil in one’s soul is physically manifested. This punishment is therapeutic as it forces the sinner to […]

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Parshat Shmini: Spirituality Returns

April 17, 2012, by

In recent times there has been a renaissance in Jewish spirituality. Whereas once only individuals dealt with Kabbala, Chassidut, and Jewish Mysticism, more and more, especially in Israel, these aspects of Judaism have become more popular and wide spread. Just as Zionism can be viewed as a return to the Bible which stresses the significance […]

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The Golden Temple and the Beit HaMikdash

March 30, 2012, by

A monotheistic Temple sounds almost an oxymoron as the temples existing today are by and large adorned with statues and idols. A notable exception is the Golden Temple in Amritsar of the Sikh religion, a temple which has neither pictures nor statues. Of world religions, Sikhism is closest to the vision that Judaism has for […]

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