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.
Abraham’s participation in the war of the four kings against the five fits uncomfortably in the broader narrative of his life. Rabbi Mark Glass argues that this Abrahamic episode articulates a core Torah perspective on military might.
This week's Parashah introduces us to the city of Shechem. Tamar Weissman examines the various appearances of this city throughout Tanakh, explaining that while it is a city of rupture, it is also one of covenant and fraternity.
Sruli Fruchter examines the story not often told about Noah—the trauma inflicted by immense responsibility amidst immense destruction.
Benjamin Barer traces the word Hevel through Jewish texts, showing how the use of the same word can teach us both about the wisdom of Kohelet we read this past Shabbat and the character of Hevel who we will read about in this week's Parashah.
What is the meaning of a biblical song? Writing for Parshat Ha'azinu and in memory of her beloved cousin, Shira Shaindel Rodman (née Brilliant) z”l, Elana Stein Hain reviews Geula Twersky's theory of biblical poetry as portrayed in her 2022 book Torah Song.
Yaakov Jaffe explores four themes of Psalm 24 as recited on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.
Lawrence Kaplan responds to AJ Berkovitz’s article on the many conflicting interpretations of a passage in Midrash Tehillim, highlighting two different approaches advanced by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
With only two verses about him in the Book of Judges, not much is known about Tola ben Puah. Ami Hordes takes clues from his story's text and context to paint a fuller picture of who the judge was and why he was important.
Through the lens of social science and game theory, Ezra Zuckerman Sivan connects three stories in Tanakh of people who threatened the social order: the blasphemer, the wood-gatherer, and Achan.