Aharon’s silence “The sons of Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, each took his fire pan, they put fire in them and placed incense upon it; and they brought before Hashem a strange fire that He had not commanded them. A fire came forth from before Hashem and consumed them, and they died before Hashem.” What was Read more
Yearning for the Geulah “… and there was a darkness of gloom throughout the land of Egypt for a period of three days.” Rabbi Pinchas Winston cites Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein, who states the following: “The exodus from Egypt liberated only one out of five Jews — and some say one out of every 50 – Read more
This week’s Torah reading marks the transition from family to nation—from a tribe of wandering Arameans to the fulfillment of an ambiguous prophecy made to the tribe’s founder.
While the Torah explicitly cautions against putting the younger before the elder in terms of inheritance, time and time again, the narrative portions of the Torah provide a lesson to the contrary: Yitzhak before Yishmael, Yaakov before Esau, Rachel before Leah, Yoseph before all his elder brothers, and Ephraim before Menashe. What is the meaning of this odd discord between law and example? What is the Torah trying to tell us?
In Parashat Vayera we cease to deal with individuals and begin to deal with nations. God “muses aloud” about whether to confide in Avraham the upcoming destruction of the nearby metropolis of S’dom. It is no coincidence that the destruction of S’dom is foretold in the very passage in which God speaks of Avraham’s descendants’ doing what is just and right. But why does Avraham then try to oppose God’s justice?