Why Do Jews Still Adhere to the Torah’s Covenant?

Why Do Jews Still Adhere to the Torah’s Covenant?

May 7, 2021 By Jeremy Tabick | Commentary | Behar | Behukkotai

Why do we, as Jews, have fealty to the Torah? Why do many of us feel bound by the Torah’s laws?

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Does God Get Carried Away?: A Case of Inner-Biblical Midrash

Does God Get Carried Away?: A Case of Inner-Biblical Midrash

Mar 13, 2020 By Jeremy Tabick | Commentary | Ki Tissa

What does it mean to be El kana, “a jealous / zealous God”?

This phrase appears in the Second Commandment:

You shall not bow down to [other gods] and you shall not worship them, for I am YHVH your God, El Kana, one who takes note of the sin of parents upon children, upon third and fourth [generations], to those who hate Me. But I am one who does love to the thousandth [generation], to those who love me and to those who keep My commandments. (Exod. 20:5-6/Deut. 5:9-10)

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To Whom is Honor Due?

To Whom is Honor Due?

May 10, 2019 By Jeremy Tabick | Commentary | Kedoshim

Who deserves our respect and why? This vital question is encoded in the verse:

Before grey hair you should stand;
You should honor the face of an elder;
You should fear your God;
I am YHVH. (Lev. 19:32)

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Reading Ourselves into Rabbinic Readings of Scripture

Reading Ourselves into Rabbinic Readings of Scripture

May 25, 2018 By Jeremy Tabick | Commentary

Wherever Midrash is taught, we are trained in two schools of reading: Rabbi Yishmael’s stuck to straightforward readings of the biblical texts; Rabbi Akiva’s spun far-fetched interpretations, relying on the smallest of details.

This picture has been incredibly influential in Jewish life and discourse. Reactions are strong to both approaches. 

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Overcoming Sleep

Overcoming Sleep

May 3, 2018 By Jeremy Tabick | Short Video | Shavuot

Why should we stay up all night on Shavuot?

featuring Leora Perkins (RS ’19)

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Whose Words?

Whose Words?

Dec 23, 2016 By Jeremy Tabick | Commentary | Vayeshev

[W]e push through the crowd, heading somewhere. Bodies clear frame and we see the HOMELESS MAN sitting on a park bench. His sign reads: “THEE END”. The Homeless Man smiles into camera. We continue forward and in a slow, mysterious, subtle fashion his face slowly transforms into the very pleased, FACE OF GOD, who winks and we CUT TO BLACK.

—Script for Bruce Almighty by Steve Koren, Mark O’Keefe, Steve Oedekerk

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