The Exodus and Einstein

The Exodus and Einstein

Apr 7, 2012 By Marc Wolf | Commentary | Pesah

As we gather to celebrate Passover this week, the attempts of all those who seek to prove or disprove the Children of Israel’s exodus from Egypt seem to surface anew. Applying the rigors of science to religion is no new endeavor for Judaism. In each generation—a theme these days—there are those who have attempted to reconcile Truths. How could the Torah’s version of history agree with the Truth that we know from philosophy or science?

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The Last Day of Passover

The Last Day of Passover

Apr 14, 2012 By Alan Cooper | Commentary | Pesah

Of all the extra festival days that we celebrate in Diaspora (yom tov sheni shel galuyot), perhaps the most irksome is the eighth day of Pesah. The second day of Sukkot adds to the delight of the holiday when the weather cooperates; the second day of Shemini Atzeret brings us the joy of Simhat Torah as a day unto itself. Even the second seder has its pleasures, except perhaps for those who have to prepare the meal and clean up afterward. But the eighth day of Pesah? Enough already! Bring on the pizza and pasta.

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The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Jul 18, 2014 By Eliezer B. Diamond | Commentary | Mattot | Yom Kippur

Are words important? This is a question that bedevils us as human beings.

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Intent of a Question

Intent of a Question

Jan 8, 2011 By Eliezer B. Diamond | Commentary | Bo | Pesah

Everyone knows that four children are mentioned in the Passover Haggadah and that one of them is the evil child. Probably fewer of us are aware that the question attributed to this child is a biblical verse found in this week’s Torah portion, “What do you mean by this rite (avodah)?” (Exod. 12:26). 

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Call Them by Their Names

Call Them by Their Names

May 2, 2014 By Joel Alter | Commentary | Emor

When I’m at a hotel over Shabbat, I have a set Friday afternoon ritual.

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“I Will Go to the Mountain of Myrrh”

“I Will Go to the Mountain of Myrrh”

Apr 10, 2015 By Barbara Mann | Commentary | Pesah

The Song of Songs is an essential text for modern Hebrew culture, and was perhaps the most beloved biblical book of modernist authors such as S. Y. Agnon and artists such as Ze’ev Raban (1890–1970). Hebrew fiction writers and poets in Palestine in the interwar period plumbed the Song for its extensive lexicon describing the body and the landscape, and its sensitive depiction of psychological and sexual drama. Their modern descriptions of the land before them were often rendered in terms that recalled the erotic interiors and pastoral domain of the Song. Raban taught at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, and his Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) illustrations of the Song of Songs (1923) are an exemplary cultural product of their time.

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“Echad Mi Yodea” (“Who Knows One?”)

“Echad Mi Yodea” (“Who Knows One?”)

Apr 2, 2015 By Sarah Diamant | Commentary | Pesah

Echad Mi Yodea” is a traditional cumulative-number song found in the Haggadah. Each verse circles back to the Oneness of God.

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The Source of Hope

The Source of Hope

Jul 21, 2012 By Mychal Springer | Commentary | Masei | Mattot | Tishah Be'av

In a dramatic reversal of the ordinary mourning process, ‎which begins in its starkest intensity and lifts over time as the mourners are comforted, ‎these are weeks of increasing mourning that move, inevitably, to the destruction of ‎God’s house and the banishment of the People into exile. The prophetic readings drive ‎home that we have brought this horrible tragedy on ourselves.

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