Does Esau get a bad rap? Through his unique lens of evolutionary psychology, Rabbi Dr. Paul Shrell-Fox, Lecture in Family and Community Studies, explores the different personalities of Esau and Jacob. How much do nature and nurture influence their wildly different personalities?
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, illustrators of the 1728 Figures de la Bible, Gerard Hoet (1648-1733) and others, published by P. de Hondt in The Hague in 1728
Do women have the right to choose? Inspired by Parshat Chayei Sara, Dr. Bat-Sheva Margalit Stern, associate professor of Jewish history, explains the immense pressure women faced from the Zionist establishment.
In this week’s Torah portion, Vayera, it is many years later. Abraham and Sarah live in Hebron, about 40 miles South of Jerusalem, when he is called with the same words “Lech Lecha”, but this time he is told exactly where he is going and why – to the Land of Moriah, the same spot where the Temple and Dome of the Rock would later be built, to sacrifice his son Isaac. The journey that began years earlier for Abraham’s benefit is ominously transformed, and the extra, emphatic word, “Lecha” has a different meaning. Abraham is told to look into himself in order to summon the strength for this final test.
Why Abraham? In Parshat Lech Lecha God appoints Abraham to be the leader of nations. What made Abraham stand out? While on a trip to Italy, Dr. Paul Mandel, Senior Lecturer in Midrash and Aggadah, saw an ancient building that reminded him of a rabbinic parable where Abraham witnesses a building burning. With all the terrible things occurring in the world who will put out the flames? Find out how Abraham responded.
Does God make mistakes? In Parshat Noah, the flood confronts us with a disturbing story of God destroying the world. Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, explores that something that seems so wrong impacts our reading of the Torah text.