No Results Found.

To the Third and Fourth Generations
by in
There is, on the face of it, a fundamental contradiction in the Torah. On the one hand we hear, in the passage known as the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, the following words: The Lord, the Lord, compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness and truth … Yet he does not leave the guilty […]
Environmental Responsibility
by in
Some commands in the Torah were understood so narrowly by the sages that they were rendered almost inapplicable. One example is the ir ha-nidachat, the city led astray into idolatry, about which the Torah states that “you must kill all the inhabitants of the city by the sword” (Deut. 13: 16). Another is the ben […]
The Second Tithe and the Making of a Strong Society
by in
Biblical Israel from the time of Joshua until the destruction of the Second Temple was a predominantly agricultural society. Accordingly, it was through agriculture that the Torah pursued its religious and social programme. It has three fundamental elements. The first was the alleviation of poverty. For many reasons the Torah accepts the basic principles of […]
The Power of Gratitude
by in
In the early 1990s one of the great medical research exercises of modern times took place. It became known as the Nun Study. Some 700 American nuns, all members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States, agreed to allow their records to be accessed by a research team investigating the process […]
The Right and the Good
by in
Buried among the epic passages in Va-etchanan – among them the Shema and the Ten Commandments – is a brief passage with large implications for the moral life in Judaism. Here it is together with the preceding verse: You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and His testimonies and His statutes, […]
Why Are There So Many Jewish Lawyers?
by in
At the beginning of Devarim, Moses reviews the history of the Israelites’ experience in the wilderness, beginning with the appointment of leaders throughout the people, heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. He continues: And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between […]
Retribution and Revenge
by in
Near the end of Bemidbar, we encounter the law of the cities of refuge: three cities to the east of the Jordan and, later, three more within the land of Israel itself. There, people who had committed homicide could flee and find protection until their case was heard by a court of law. If they […]
Elijah and the Still, Small Voice
by in
Then the word of the Lord came to him: ‘Why are you here, Elijah?’  He replied, I am moved by the zeal for the Lord, God of Hosts…” The Lord said to him, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then […]
A People That Dwells Alone?
by in
In the course of blessing the Jewish people Bilaam uttered words that have come to seem to many[1] to encapsulate Jewish history: How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I doom whom God has not doomed? I see them from mountain tops, Gaze on them from the heights. Look: a people […]
Anger Management
by in
There are some, say the Talmud, who acquire their world in an hour and others who lose it in an hour. No example of the latter is more arresting and bewildering than the famous episode in this week’s parsha. The people have asked for water. God tells Moses to take a staff and speak to […]