Category: midrash

Surrounded by Big Things: Jonah, Harvey, and Yom Kippur

One of the things we might notice about Jonah is that he’s a little hard to follow: one minute, minding his own business, in his own land, and next thing he’s on the way to […]

Building Teva: Ark and Word

Here are the missing sources for yesterday’s post: Gematria linking the measurement’s of Noah’s ark — including its 30-cubit height — to the four-letter name of God, YHVH, is credited to the 16th Century Kabbalist […]

Refuge in God

Noah was called a righteous man (Gen 6:9) and the dimensions of the ark suggest that he found refuge or dwelled in God’s name… In Genesis 6:15, God tells Noah to construct an ark that […]

Three 30s, One Pun

Three 30s appear surround one pun in this verse from the Book of Judges: וַיָּקָם אַחֲרָיו, יָאִיר הַגִּלְעָדִי; וַיִּשְׁפֹּט, אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל, עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁתַּיִם, שָׁנָה. וַיְהִי-לוֹ שְׁלֹשִׁים בָּנִים, רֹכְבִים עַל-שְׁלֹשִׁים עֲיָרִים, וּשְׁלֹשִׁים עֲיָרִים, לָהֶם; לָהֶם יִקְרְאוּ חַוֹּת […]

House of God

The story of Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28:10ff) uses three place names for the same spot: “Gate of Heaven” and “Beth-El [House of God]” as well as Luz, discussed yesterday. The name “Beth El” is the […]

“You set the patterns of the moon”

El Adon and Another Pinchas Addendum … (5) Glory and honor they give to You glowing praises to Your rule You call to the sun and it gives forth light You set the patterns of […]

More on Mouse: Pinchas, part 2

More on Mouse [addendum to dvar Torah, “Pinchas and the Scary Friend”] Many hard-boiled detectives have their “scary friend.” But Ezekiel (Easy) Rawlins’ friend Raymond (Mouse), is something else again. Mouse is written by Walter […]

Pinchas and the scary friend

My original plan, when I was assigned Parashat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) to offer a dvar Torah, was to skip over Pinchas and his spear and the matter of God and human vengeance. But that’s not […]

Amichai: Change, God, Pit, and Mikveh

UPDATE April 15: See also Fabrangen’s Omer Blog for more on “full of water.” Imagery of a pit [bor] appears over the years in the poetry of Yehuda Amichai. Frequently, as in the Joseph story […]

Passover and Awakening

Now when a man becomes aware that he is falling asleep and begins to nod and he is afraid that a strong, heavy sleep may overcome him, the best advice for him is for him […]