We have already said that prophecies were delivered through dreams and visions. When a prophet did receive a message, it could come in a variety of forms [II, 44]: * It might be in the form of an allegory; * The prophet might perceive God speaking to him, as in Isaiah 6:8 (“I heard the […]
An inspiring true story about Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, Chief Rabbi of Vilna (1863-1940), told by Shlomo Horwitz of Jewish Crossroads. More info available at www.jewishcrossroads.org/about.htm. Produced by Chaim Kalish of BuildaFilm Studios.
Prophets would sometimes receive their prophecies in the form of allegories. In such a case, they would be shown or told the allegory, followed by its meaning. [II, 43] In dreams, it is possible for a person to believe that he is awake. In his dream, he can even relate a dream to another person, […]
Twenty-Two Nisan First-borns matter in Judaism. Rambam lists eight Biblical commandments that relate to first-born animals or people, and Ramban adds another, meaning that a percent and a half of all Biblical commandments show us how to deal properly with first-borns. Studying the significance the Torah gives these issues, and why it sees them as […]
Twenty-One Nisan As we near the end of our time together, we will take up the mitzvot least connected to Egypt where the Torah nonetheless links them. We’ll start with financial ones. Weights of Judgment, Judgment of Weights Vayikra 19;35 warns against perverting justice in weights and measures, to have accurate scales, and reminds us […]
Twenty Nisan The Torah reminds us repeatedly to handle the stranger/convert with extra care. Shmot 22;20 and Vayikra 19;33, for two central texts, warn us not להונות the stranger and also not ללחוץ him or her. The Talmudic assumption is that the words indicate verbal and monetary abuse respectively. There are many good reasons to […]
Nineteen Nisan The word slavery has very specific connotations in our times, given the horrors American slave-owners visited upon their slaves (and then that other Americans visited upon freed blacks, as Ta-Nehisi Coates has noted in The Atlantic). But the mitzvot the Torah sets up around slavery show that that’s not the only way for […]