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.
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’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.
Nachum Krasnopolsky explains Rashbam's interpretation of the splitting of the sea as an educational experience.
In his letter to the editor, Gershon Klapper draws upon three medieval sources that undermine Ben Greenfield's recent reading of the Zohar on the three attributes of the Avot.
Sam Borodach traces the role of clothing throughout the Joseph narrative.