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Tzarich Iyun: Mordechai and Esther
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Misconception: Mordechai and Esther, the Purim heroes, were uncle and niece.[1] Fact: According to Megillat Esther, Mordechai and Esther were first cousins. Background: This is a widespread misconception, even found in the renowned midrashic compilation of Louis Ginzberg. For example, in Legends of the Jews Vol. IV, page 387 he writes: “This lively interest displayed […]
53. The Torah Addresses the Norm
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It is important to understand that the Torah does not take exceptions into account. Whatever the Torah teaches, be it intellectual, moral or practical in nature, is based on the norm and not on any deviations that may occur. [III, 34] The mitzvos are beneficial to mankind but there may be individual cases where they […]
Seeing Hashem—Making it Real
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We live in remarkable times. Knowledge, information, and technological advances explode in front of us—each one eclipsing the ones that came before it. What was unknown and mysterious twenty years ago is now commonplace, and pedestrian. Satellite communications, instant access to information, global positioning satellites, so many technological wonders, that a generation ago, weren’t even […]
Tzarich Iyun: Glatt Kosher
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Misconception: “Glatt Kosher” means something like “extra kosher” and applies to chicken and fish as well as meat. Fact: Glatt is Yiddish for smooth, and in the context of kashrut it means that the lungs of the animal were smooth, without any adhesions that could potentially prohibit the animal as a treifa, an issue only […]