Ki Ani Hashem: A Literary Analysis of the Makkot

Joshua Shapiro explains how close readers of the Biblical text can find a unifying theory for reason behind the ten plagues.

An Ishbitz-Radzyn Reading of the Judah Narrative: Binah Ba-lev – An Understanding Heart 

In a follow up to her recent piece about Joseph, Batya Hefter traces Judah's character development through the eyes of the Ishbitz-Radzyn masters.

Fearless Leadership:Nehemiah son of Hacaliah Learns from Moses and Aaron

In this second-place prize-winning essay for Hadar’s annual Ateret Zvi contest, Nehemia Polen approaches a vexing episode in the Torah through new lens: what if Moses and Aaron were denied entry to the Land of Israel not because of what they did when obtaining water from the rock but because of where they escaped to right before?

Catastrophic Miracles and Miraculous Catastrophes: The Torah of Pregnancy in Tazria and Toldot

In her winning Ateret Zvi essay, Leah Sarna explores two simultaneously true stories about pregnancy: it is at once a beautiful, incredible miracle, and also a demanding journey, both physically and mentally, that often feels more like a catastrophe. Studying the Torah's accounts of pregnancy in Tazria and Rivkah's life, Sarna offers a moving analysis of what it means to hear, tell, and live these stories.

An Ishbitz-Radzyn Reading of the Joseph Narrative: The Light of Reason and the Flaw...

Batya Hefter traces Joseph's character development through the eyes of the Ishbitz-Radzyn masters.

The Source of Joseph’s Dreams 

Lazarre Simckes analyses Joseph’s dreams through the lens of trauma psychology.

Jacob, Pursuer of Truth

Jacob is described in Rabbinic thought as a pursuer of truth, but many have questioned whether this aligns with the simple reading of the text. Gavriel Lakser argues that a close reading shows that it does, even if he made some mistakes along the way.

Rivkah’s Existentialism: Wholeness and Brokenness

This past Shabbat, Rivkah took center stage, making a dramatic decision that altered the course of her descendants’ histories. Sruli Fruchter examines the angst that preceded Rivkah’s fateful actions.

Navigating Uncertainty: Revisiting Blessings and Deceit in Parashat Toledot

In an original analysis of one of the most famous stories in the Torah, Maier Becker calls into question many long-held assumptions about this week's parasha and proposes a new reading based on the interpretations of traditional exegetes.

Avraham and Sodom: To Pray Against God

Avraham’s challenge to God’s planned destruction of Sodom raises the fundamental ethical problem of collective punishment. The resolution of this challenge, Sruli Fruchter explains, enables Avraham to realize God’s highest ideals and to confront the conflict between compassion for oppressors and consideration for their victims.