Did Avraham attend Yitzchak’s wedding? Well, in the closest thing we have to a wedding description — right at the end of this parasha — Avraham is nowhere to be found. The servant who made the match is there, and the spirit of Sarah is there as she looms large in her son’s memory,...
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Russia, NATO discuss Ukraine as tension mounts over Crimea
October 23, 2013 | 4:54 pm
July 17, 2013 | 1:54 pm
There is a well-known children’s book depicting a nut-brown hare and its child playing a game called “Guess How Much I Love You.” In it, the child stretches tall and wide, jumps high and reaches toward the horizon to show his affection for the parent. In response, the parent always...
May 22, 2013 | 3:59 pm
In this week’s parasha, Beha’alotecha, Moses faces the fragility of life as he watches his sister, Miriam, struggle with tzara’at, a dangerous skin disease. Overcome with anguish, Moses cries out to God. His five-word prayer, the shortest recorded in the Torah, beseeches the Holy...
March 14, 2013 | 4:39 am
November 15, 2012 | 2:59 pm
August 15, 2012 | 1:31 pm
“Beware of being lured into their ways ... Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did those nations worship their gods? I too will follow the same practices!’” (Deuteronomy 12:30).
I am struck by this verse from our parasha, because I have benefited greatly from other...
April 11, 2012 | 11:18 am
Every Passover, as I sit with my family at our seder, I inevitably think of my paternal grandfather, after whom I was named. I never met him. He died five years before I was born, and I was born on the anniversary of his burial. But from earliest childhood, I felt that my grandfather...
March 21, 2012 | 1:50 pm
At the ripe age of 8, I learned the Peter Allen song “Everything Old Is New Again.” It may have been an unusual choice for an 8-year-old to crave hearing over and over. But for me, this song was synonymous with dance class, doing the soft shoe that landed me on stage for the...
March 8, 2012 | 11:22 am
February 23, 2012 | 9:48 am
February 3, 2012 | 6:08 pm
This week I write to you from Jerusalem, inspired by the headline story from this past Tuesday ‘s Ha’aretz. On the first morning of my trip, here is the headline I woke up to: “New Orthodox Rabbinical Group Puts Israeli Women at Its Head – Hopes to Counter Creeping Religious...
January 4, 2012 | 1:02 pm
August 31, 2011 | 10:48 am
August 10, 2011 | 10:32 am
August 2, 2011 | 5:37 pm
June 28, 2011 | 3:48 pm
June 24, 2011 | 10:37 am
This week’s Torah reading deals with the rebellion of Korach, a cousin of Moses, who contends that he is just as deserving of leadership as the great lawgiver. Korach claims that Moses has usurped power for reasons of self-aggrandizement. Moses, whom the Bible declares to be the...
May 17, 2011 | 5:55 pm
In 2008, the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed written by Marisol Leon, a young woman who graduated from Yale in 2007 and returned to teach in the same public middle school she had attended:
“‘Think Ivy League,’ pleaded Mrs. Anderson, my English teacher. ‘Ivy League? What is...
April 5, 2011 | 6:09 pm
Author Hillel Halkin, reviewing the Koren Sacks Siddur in the spring 2010 Jewish Review of Books, recounts a charming story that he heard from his father:
“My father, who prayed with great kavanah [concentration] yet was adamant about having no religious beliefs whatsoever …...
March 22, 2011 | 6:18 pm
The aphorism “you are what you eat” first appeared in French and then in German in the 1800s, and was then brought into English in the 1920s by nutritionist Victor Lindlahr, the inventor of the “catabolic diet.” Hippie foodies later adopted the phrase in the 1960s.
July 9, 2008 | 10:38 pmThe Torah records that the human being was the final item created by God. But the Mishna (Avot 5:8) proposes that a variety of mysterious things were actually created just a little bit later.
As the sixth day was ending, but not quite over, and as Shabbat was arriving, but had not...
January 4, 2001 | 7:00 pm
The syllabus for my USC general education class includes both Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and chapters 37-50 of Genesis -- the Joseph story or "novella." These two narratives share themes that commend themselves: forgiveness and reconciliation. Both Prospero and Joseph were set upon...
February 19, 1998 | 7:00 pmDeeply ingrained ideas die hard. This week'sparasha,however, helps to ring the death knell for one such idea. Many of ushave been trained to believe that the Torah's commandments can bebroken down into two basic categories. These re: the mitzvot we do for God and themitzvot we do for...
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