Priests and Prejudice: Disability in Parashat Emor
Joshua Stadlan carefully explores the “blemishes” that invalidate a kohein for service in the Mishkan to argue that they were not an original part of God’s plan.
Frum and Free? Passover and Jewish Views on Liberty
Aton Holzer offers a novel re-reading of the Seder, arguing that it reflects and recreates four types of liberty that can be found in the Exodus narrative, as well as a fifth form of freedom.
As we prepare for Passover, enjoy these three poems by Bruce Black meditating on the past, present, and future of our Exodus.
Guilt and Shame Cultures in the Thought of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Marc Eichenbaum explores the idea of guilt and shame cultures in the thought of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z"tl, which provides a novel interpretation of Torah and a powerful lesson for contemporary society.
The Gift of Shabbat as the Trace of God’s Caring Hand on our Faces
Ezra Zuckerman Sivan explains how an enigmatic passage in Masekhet Shabbat teaches us how we can use Shabbat to connect to an oft-hidden God.
Revelation Deferred but not Denied: the Golden Calf as a Rabbinic Origin Story
Amitai Bin-Nun provides a fresh and intriguing perspective on the story of the Golden Calf by reading it in light of the Talmudic passage in Menahot detailing an encounter between Moses and R. Akiba on Mt. Sinai where God is tying crowns to the letters of the Torah scroll.
Should Jacob have conquered Canaan?
David Curwin explores the evidence that Jacob may have made a fatal mistake in not conquering Canaan upon returning.
U-shemor Nafshekha: The Curious History of the (Supposed) Mitzvah to Maintain One’s Health
What does the Torah mean when it says to "guard your nefesh (soul)"? Lehrhaus editor David Fried reevaluates the common understanding of a Torah mandate for healthy living.
Rabbeinu Bahya and the Case of the Mysterious Medieval Lightning Rod
Did Rabbeinu Bahya mention a lightning rod centuries before it was discovered? Yaakov Taubes takes us on a journey through science, magic, and religion to help explain this medieval commentator’s cryptic comment about the Tower of Babel.
What Do We Know About Moses’s Burial Place?
Ezra Zuckerman Sivan explains what it means when the Torah says that Moses's burial site was hidden.