Category Philosophy

Too Big, It Must Fail

Thoughts on Parashat Noah

This week’s parasha contains two great narratives that are at the foundations of the Judeo-Christian civilization and have inspired people for centuries: the story of Noah and the flood as well as the story of the Tower of Babel. The beginning of the story of Noah tells us about the great corruption that permeated the earth. To quote the Torah:

God Continue Reading

Everyone is Equal in the Face of Death

Thoughts on Parashat Va’etchanan

At the beginning of this week’s Torah portion Moses asks the Eternal to let him enter the Promised Land. God does not cave to his pleas, the only thing He offers him in exchange is a suggestion for Moses to climb to the top of mount Pisgah, from where he will be able to take a look at the Land given to Israel (Deut 3:23-27.) This story ends in Continue Reading

On the Balance Between Good and Evil Forces

Thoughts on Parashat Pinchas

At the very beginning of this week’s Torah portion God rewards Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, for his zealous act – namely for killing the prince of the Simeonites Zimri and his lover Cozbi, a Midianite princess. As part of this reward God endows Pinchas with the covenant of peace and includes him in the priestly line for eternity (According Continue Reading

Force of Habit, Passivity, Fear and Their Consequences

Thoughts on Parashat Shelach

In this week’s Torah portion Moses sends twelve spies to the land of Canaan. They come back forty days later, bringing an enormous assortment of grapes, pomegranates and figs to prove the richness and abundance of the land they traveled across. However, ten of the spies warn everyone that the inhabitants of that land are giants and warriors “stronger Continue Reading

The King and His Son

Thoughts on Parashat Naso

Two weeks ago I devoted my drasha to Jewish unity and diversity. This week I will take up the topic of leadership. This week’s Torah portion speaks extensively about roles of Levites (in particular Kohathites and Gershonites,) Kohanim in the Tabernacle services, ritual purity, the ritual of nazirite and so on. The idea of purity, of “being fit” Continue Reading

On Jewish Unity and Diversity

Thoughts on Parasha Bamidbar

This week’s Torah portion contains a number of laws and regulations regarding the responsibilities of the representatives of each tribe of Israel in the Tent of Meeting. These regulations are only a part of the whole Code of Law which was supposed to ensure the harmonious co-existence of the tribes of Israel in Biblical times. The theme of harmony Continue Reading