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Jan 14, 2022, 3:23 PM
What Splitting the Real Sea of Reeds Teaches Us About Miracles
What body of water was split for the Isrealites to cross? Why include very specific locations and maneuvers when describing what is presumably a very simple set of events? The unfortunate consequence of misinterpreting narratives is the loss of their...
Jan 7, 2022, 5:22 AM
The Remarkable Biblical Timetable of the Final Plagues
What objective information does the text provide? Does the text provide objective information to determine the timing of the plagues relative to the exodus? Biblical narratives suffer from a scarcity of objective chronological references. Identifying the precise time period of...
Dec 31, 2021, 4:10 PM
Moses Never Said “Let My People Go”
Why did Moshe never actually ask Pharoah to free the Israelites? Why was it necessary to perpetrate a fraud against Pharaoh and the Egyptians? What would have been lost had Pharaoh believed that the Jewish people were being redeemed...
Dec 22, 2021, 5:25 PM
Was Yocheved No Better a Mother than Hagar?
Was Moshe actually sent floating down the Nile river by his loving mother? What is Miriam’s role? How did Bat Pharoah know Moshe was Jewish? The drama of Moshe’s origin begins when he is placed in the basket by his...
Dec 18, 2021, 12:11 AM
The Conspicuous Superfluity of Yaacov’s Blindness
Why does the Torah inform us of Yaacov’s blindness? And why does Yosef refer to Yaacov switching his hands as “evil in his eyes”? The closing stories of Breishit provide us with a rectification to the generations of discord. The...
Dec 12, 2021, 2:04 PM
The Questionable Ethics of Yosef’s Economic Philosophy: Tax or Arbitrage
What was the legal status of the food acquired by Yosef during the years of plenty? Was it a tax, royal seizure or purchased? What was the moral permissibility for the consolidation of wealth during a time of crisis? The...
Dec 1, 2021, 11:57 PM
Why Hide the Cup in Binyamin’s Bag?
Why did Yosef go through this very specific dramatic plot of hiding the cup, emphasizing the framing of the youngest brother? Why must the reader be informed that Yosef claims to be a diviner? Wouldn’t it be just as...
Nov 25, 2021, 7:23 PM
Ancient Origins for Yibbum and Textual Novelty from their Halachik Dichotomy
Why was the application of yibbum so different in the time of Yehuda? Why is Yehuda the decider of Tamar’s fate? Why does Yehuda not continue his relationship with Tamar? The biblical origins of the mitzvah of yibbum arise from...
Nov 18, 2021, 4:34 AM
What Actually Killed Rachel in Labor?
What was the specific complication of pregnancy that caused Rachel’s demise? Rachel's tragic death during the birth of Binyamin is a defining moment for the family of Yaacov. The text itself provides little detail of the specific cause of her...
Nov 11, 2021, 2:18 PM
Why Did Rachel Steal the Terafim?
What motivated Rachel to steal the terafim as she departed the house of Lavan? The classical rabbinical explanation for this literary tangent was Rachel's interest to distance her father from idolatry , as Lavan later refers to them as his...
Jonathan is a physician with interests in science, philosophy and religion, with special focus on skeptical thinking and critical analysis.