Upon arrival at Shechem, pursuant to God’s command that he go to a land yet revealed, Avram not only receives the promise of land and progeny, but also enjoys an audience with God. Most classical commentators tend to agree with Rashi that Avram’s subsequent building of an altar is thanks for those dual promises.
Why the beef? How does God decide that humankind should become Carnivorous? What is it about the Flood that causes this change of heart?
Three reasons: From Rabbi David Kimchi, A psychological approach and, what seems to me, what the Torah suggests as a work of literature.
The holiday Sukkot is famously called Zman Simchateinu, the Season of our Joy. It’s a time to live in a Sukkah, exposed to the elements just at the cusp of the time of year in much of the northern hemisphere when the rains of autumn are beginning.
Perhaps no one has put it better than Bill Booth, famous skydiver, who coined Booth's Rule Number 2: 'The safer skydiving becomes, the more chances skydivers will take, in order to keep the fatality rate constant.'
Resilience by Andrew Zolli
I’ve got a Scotch Brogue going through my head having stayed up way too late watching streaming live coverage of the 84+% vote for Scotland to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Having little stake in it myself, I was fascinated to find that until the last couple of weeks the vote would have been far more lopsided against independence than the 55-45% split that occurred.
In an interview a decade or so ago Marlon Brando was describing his work ethic. I paraphrase to the best of my memory: “If I feel 100% I give 80%. If I feel 80% I give 60%. If I feel 60% I stay home.”
I wonder what percentage he felt while screaming ‘STELLA’ in Streetcar Named Desire.
What did Harry Houdini have in common with Menachem Mendel Schneerson? (Yes, both were Jewish but I’m looking for something a little deeper).
I recently completed Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s biography of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and, in a footnote, the Rebbe said that if his predecessor, the 6th Chabad Rebbe, really wanted to speak with him from the other side he could do so without dancing tables.
Approximately 65% of the population are visual learners. Although only 10% of secondary students are auditory learners, 80% of teachers are among this 10% of the population.
Our portion begins with a nod to the Visual, the command form of the verb ‘to see’: Look! I’ve placed before you a blessing and a curse.
The Ice Bucket Challenge. Blessing or Curse?
“The Egyptian, Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away. The Greek and Roman followed, made a vast noise and they are gone. Other peoples have sprung up, and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out and they sit in twilight now or have vanished.