As we enter Sukkot and begin to prepare for Simchat Torah Dr. Shula Laderman, recounts a midrash that illustrates the importance of the Hebrew letters aleph and bet. How was it decided which letter would appear first in the Torah?
Noting the verb roots of the verse, Eitan Cooper, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Schechter Institutes calls attention to a Talmudic debate between Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani and Resh Lakish on how men and women were created. This debate shows how even the ancient scholars engaged in debates on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Parashat Shemini: “Vayidom Aharon.” Aaron was silent, says the text. Was it shocked silence? Perhaps. Or, perhaps, it was silence which results from the depth of one’s emotions, too overwhelming to express in words?
As Parshat Toldot opens God responds to Rebecca that she is pregnant with twins, not just any twins, but two nations inside of her, In a struggle for power.
Israel is already one of the most densely populated countries in the world. What are the potentially destructive implications of our extraordinarily high birthrate?
2018 saw the strengthening of TALI partnership with the Ministry of Education. Today TALI is Israel’s largest pluralistic in-school Jewish studies program, educating 50,000 children and providing professional support to 2,500 educators in 315 public schools and pre-schools from the Golan to Eilat.
Jacob is blessed with many children but is it too much of a good thing? Using an example of the midrashic technique of notarikon – rearranging or deriving meaning from the individual letters of a word – Tamar Kadari, Senior Lecturer in Midrash, teaches how Joseph’s famous (technicolor dream) coat ended up becoming a source of division in his family.
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?
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.