Poverty and the White Horse’s Red Strap

Exploring Babylon Chapter 18-1/2 The previous chapter, “Exile, Passover, and Melting Pot,” looked at nine bible verses using the word “kur,” usually translated as “crucible” or “furnace.” This addendum shares the odd midrash on one such verse, mentioned in the earlier post, which suggests some ideas about Passover, exile, and learning. Furnace Midrash Each appearance […]

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God’s Favor, God’s Prayer

Berakhot 7a discusses the topic of God’s prayer: R. Johanan says in the name of R. Jose: How do we know that the Holy One, blessed be He, says prayers? Because it says: Even them will I bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7; more below). […]

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Ha’azinu: Language and Translation

Given the poetic nature of Ha’azinu [“Give Ear”], language and translation are pervasive topics for this portion. One set of phrases to consider appears in 32:18: You neglected the Rock who begot [y’lad’cha] you, Forgot the God who labored to bring you forth [m’chol’lecha] — Plaut/Stein or The Rock that birthed you [y’lad’cha], you neglected, […]

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Ki Teitzei: Something to Notice

“It’s very clear our love is here to stay. Not for a year, but ever and a day. The radio and the telephone And the movies that we know May just be passing fancies and in time may go. But, oh my dear, our love is here to stay. Together were going a long, long […]

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