Parshat Toldot: A Blessing on Your Head?

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s ‘Unlocking The Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey Into The Weekly Parsha- Bereishit’, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers Context As Yitzchak ages and develops blindness, he arranges to bless his older and favored son, Esav. Rivka, upon overhearing her husband’s plans, instructs her favorite, Yaakov, to masquerade as his […]

Parshat Chayei Sara: Why Go Back?

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s ‘Unlocking The Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey Into The Weekly Parsha- Bereishit‘, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers Context As Avraham’s life draws near its end, he turns to his trusted servant (identified by the rabbis as Eliezer) an d instructs him to return to his homeland, Aram Naharaim, […]

Parshat Chayei Sara: Frankness as Vice and as Virtue

Excerpted from Rabbi Norman Lamm’s “Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages – Genesis” co-published by OU Press and Maggid Publishers Most people have mixed feelings with regard to that uncommon quality called frankness or candor – and that is as it should be. It is something no doubt to be admired, and all too rare in human […]

Parshat Chayei Sara: On Remaining Unperturbed

Excerpted from Rabbi Norman Lamm’s “Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages – Genesis” co-published by OU Press and Maggid Publishers   Of all the names that have been given to the period of history through which we are currently living, the most appropriate and descriptive is the “age of anxiety.” Indeed, it is anxiety that most accurately […]

Parshat Chayei Sara: Words – Scarce and Sacred

Excerpted from Rabbi Norman Lamm’s “Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages – Genesis” co-published by OU Press and Maggid Publishers What is the value of a word? This is a most appropriate question on the first Sabbath after our national elections took place. Elections to the presidency are a wondrous thing to behold and a glory and […]

Parshat Vayeira: Understanding A Test

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s ‘Unlocking The Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey Into The Weekly Parsha- Bereishit‘, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers   Context Our confrontation with Akeidat Yitzchak, the classical example of nissayon (a trial administered by God to test man) in biblical literature, provides us with a perfect opportunity to explore the […]

Parshat Vayeira: Avraham’s Sudden Silence

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s ‘Unlocking The Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey Into The Weekly Parsha- Bereishit‘, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers   Context Two towering events serve as dramatic bookends within Parshat Vayeira: the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Amora and the Akeida (the aborted sacrifice of Yitzchak). Avraham reacts to […]

Parashat Noach: The Generation of the Tower and a Towering Generation

Excerpted from Rabbi Norman Lamm’s Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages — Genesis, co-published by OU Press and Maggid Publishers. In this sidra we read of the generation of Noah and the evil lives they led. Their punishment, as it is recorded in the Torah, was complete destruction – except for Noah and his family […]

Parshat Bereishit: And Kayin Said to Hevel, His Brother…

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s ‘Unlocking The Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey Into The Weekly Parsha- Bereishit’, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers Context The tragic story of mankind’s second generation unfolds as Kayin and Hevel, the sons of Adam and Chava, each bring an offering to God. God accepts Hevel and his offering […]

Parshat Bereishit: Good and Evil — Who Decides?

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s ‘Unlocking The Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey Into The Weekly Parsha- Bereishit’, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers Context God places Adam in the beautiful Garden of Eden, surrounded  by a bounty of natural sustenance. Two exceptional trees are also planted in the garden: the Tree of Life and […]