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I Will Shelter You

Way back in July 1990, when my daughter Katie was two years old, Ellen turned to our little girl and said, "Tell Daddy something he doesn't know." Katie whispered, smiling shyly, "Today is Mommy's

D'var Torah By: 
The Sukkah: Providing Shelter for Everyone
Davar Acher By: 
Loren Filson Lapidus

Earlier in this parashah, the Torah describes who is excluded from serving as a priest and offering "the food of his God" because of physical disabilities (Leviticus 21:17-21).

There Is Safety in Numbers: Reception History and Cities of Refuge

In Numbers 35:9-15, God commands the people to create cities of refuge in the Promised Land.

D'var Torah By: 
Living in Exile
Davar Acher By: 
James Prosnit

Professor Garroway’s exploration of the “reception history” that has evolved from the commandment in Parashat Mas’ei to establish cities of refuge calls to mind two additional Talmudic tea

Death, Thou Shalt Die

The end of the wilderness sojourn of the wandering Israelites approaches as the Book of Numbers reaches its conclusion. In Parashat Mas-ei, the Torah looks backward and ahead.

D'var Torah By: 
A Prayer for Borders
Davar Acher By: 
Barry Cohen

Discussing Israel's borders inherently brings up political and theological arguments; and the problem is that we have been arguing for millennia.

Wrestling with Man, Not Angel

"Now Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the rise of dawn" (Genesis 32:25).

D'var Torah By: 
Wrestling Within
Davar Acher By: 
Jan Katzew

Rabbi Zoe Klein (hereafter RaZaK) offers a nuanced, elegant commentary on the verse "Now Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the rise of dawn" (Genesis 32:25).

Welcome to Questions

To the familiar "How odd of God to choose the Jews" we might well add, upon reading the story of Jacob/Israel, "But stranger still is Israel/It's odd indeed to be his seed/Part cheat, part mouse, y

D'var Torah By: 
Rape and Affection
Davar Acher By: 
Emily Feigenson

In the tale of the rape of Dinah (Genesis 33:18 - 34:31) the Torah gives an astonishingly clear picture of people's confusion in responding to rape.

The Meeting of Jacob and Esau: The Healing of the Open Wound

The drama of Jacob and Esau is not over yet. In the previous episode involving the two brothers, Jacob stole Esau's birthright and blessing by tricking their father, Isaac.

D'var Torah By: 
Repairing Past Wrongs or Smoothing Out the Rough Edges
Davar Acher By: 
Laura Weiss

We read only a short time ago, in Genesis 27, that Jacob stole the birthright and blessing of his brother, Esau.

Brandeis and Jacob: Struggle and Change

In the 1940s, when a group of philanthropists sought to find a name for the American Jewish university they were opening outside of Boston, several ideas were debated.

D'var Torah By: 
Who Was that Masked Man?
Davar Acher By: 
Ari J. Goldstein

If you think that old episodes of The Lone Ranger were dramatic, they were nothing compared with the evening leading up to Jacob's meeting with Esau after twenty years of hidi


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