Category: midrash

Foreign Languages and Imagination

The brand new Koren Rav Kook Siddur presents commentary, not previously published in English — including this note on the Psalm 81 which sheds some light for #ExploringBabylon.

Torah of Exile

Jacob studied “the Torah of exile” in his younger years, and that helped sustain him during his time with Laban. Joseph, in turn, uses this “Torah of exile” during his decades in Egypt.

Babylon and Rachel’s Offering

This midrash offers lessons for people struggling to function with integrity and flexibility in a diverse, often contradictory, world.

Babylon, Taxes, and Thanksgiving

U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and the economics of “Black Friday” make this a good time to consider what Judaism demands in terms of taxes and justice.

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 […]