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 […]

RETURN: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe — Day 10: Holiness

Excerpted from Erica Brown’s Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe Day Ten: Holiness “For the sin we committed before You by desecrating the Divine name.” “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2). Holiness is a mandate. We are obligated to be holy for without necessarily understanding what […]

RETURN: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe — Day 4: Humility

Excerpted from Erica Brown’s Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe, co-published by OU Press and Maggid Books Day Four: Humility “For the sin we committed before You by haughtily stretching forth the neck.”. The word humility is rooted int he Latin word for “grounded” or “low,” from the word “humus” or earth. To be […]

Parshat Shoftim: Poetry or Practicality

Excerpted from Rabbi Shmuel Goldin’s ‘Unlocking The Torah Text: An In-Depth Journey Into The Weekly Parsha- Devarim’, co-published by OU Press and Gefen Publishers   Context We have previously noted and discussed the tension created by the multilayered character of the book of Devarim (see Devarim 1). On the one hand, as we have noted, Devarim […]