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Dec 7, 2020, 10:31 AM
Parshat Vayishlah: Limping along with God
Parshat Vayishlah, which sees Yaacov Avinu return to Eretz Israel, is the critical point in the narrative of Humash whereby the embryonic version of Am Israel is born, transformed from a mere family into a multi-tribe, variagated nation. This...
Apr 22, 2020, 7:04 PM
Parshat Tazria-Metzora: Devil in the Details
This week's Parsha, Tazria-Metzora, spends decisively more quality time and effort on describing how the Cohen must diagnose a scaly skin blemish as Tzaraat, than the Torah spends describing the creation of the universe. Indeed, this is not unique...
Feb 21, 2019, 7:35 AM
The new extremism
I try my best not to write about politics, but nothing gets my blood up like seeing the word "extremist" in every other article that I read in the press. I am of course referring to the recent torrent...
Feb 19, 2019, 4:50 PM
Parshat KiTisa – Lord of the Rings
One of the difficulties in reading Parshat KiTisa is the inculcated impression that we all know the details of the "Golden Calf" story all too well. This bias can often lead us to pay less attention to the actual text. The conventional...
Nov 2, 2018, 10:47 PM
Parshat Hayei Sarah – Marriage and Politics
The story of Eliezer seeking out Rivkah on behalf of Itzhak seems anticlimactic in the otherwise fast-paced narrative of Breishit. Not only does the story seems to occupy a disproportionate volume of text, but it is repetitive and predictably...
Jun 20, 2018, 1:29 PM
Parshat Hukat — the power of fruit
There are many turning points in the narrative of the Torah, and most of them are bad, like the sin of the Egel and the sin of the Spies. This weeks Parsha, Hukat, is a breakthrough signifying the arrival...
May 17, 2018, 3:18 PM
Why do we need the Levites?
This weeks parsha begins a new book of the Torah, the book of Bamidbar. The parsha starts with a census of the Israelite camp, and ends with very specific instructions by God, mandating the conscription of one tribe, the...
May 10, 2018, 1:32 PM
Parshat Behukotai sets up a seemingly straightforward dichotomy between keeping mitzvot and getting reward, versus not keeping mitzvot and being punished. What's striking is the ratio of the reward to punishment. While there are only a handful of verses...
May 6, 2018, 11:00 PM
Freedom in the land
This weeks parsha, Behar, is the only instance in which the word "Dror" meaning freedom appears in the entire text of the Torah. I have always found this frustrating because for me it seems like freedom is one of...
Erez Maoz is a Rabbi living in Jerusalem with his family. Erez moved to Israel from the US in 2008. He works as a consultant. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.