Isaac, the Eternal Optimist

Isaac occupies the middle position among the three Patriarchs. Gavriel Lakser offers a novel reading of his character that portrays Isaac as a uniquely relatable figure for our times.

Modern Technology Meets Tehum Shabbat

In honor of yesterday's Daf Yomi Siyum on Masekhet Eiruvin, Yaakov Jaffe describes how online maps and other technological tools have better enabled communities such as Boston/Cambridge to measure their tehum shabbat.

(Mis)Quoting Scripture in American Politics

AJ Berkovitz offers a charitable perspective on American politicians' apparent errors in citing the Bible.

Abraham’s “Diminished” Weeping: An Orthographic Note Inspired by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Zt”l

There’s a miniature kaf at the beginning of the parashah. As Gabriel Slamovits explains, what the diminished letter says about how Abraham mourned for Sarah fits well with a prominent teaching of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, zt”l.

Rav Nachum Rabinovitch and the Art of Ancient Dyeing

Dr. Baruch Sterman, founder of the @Ptil Tekhelet Institute, tells the story of Rav Rabinovitch's pivotal role in the discovery of the tekhelet - and an episode of "The Worst Jobs in History," a 2004-2006 BBC series.

Streamlining Services: What Can we Learn from High Holidays 5781?

Many synagogue goers found the abbreviated High Holiday services we recently concluded quite appealing. Need we eventually go back to the way it was before coronavirus? Not really, argues Moshe Kurtz, surveying the substantial halakhic support for shortening the services every year.

A Pediatric Akeidah

Chaim Trachtman sees the Akeida as addressing the threat to human life, especially that of children, which is always inherent in the religious experience.

Lot’s Wife Was Never Salt (And Why That Highlights the Greatness of Abraham)

Mark Glass explores the implications of a little-known interpretation in which Lot's wife never turned to salt.

Aleinu and Genesis: Against the Twin Idolatries of Universalism & Ethnonationalism

Does the Torah support a universalist or ethnonationalist political orientation? In this timely essay, Ezra Zuckerman Sivan explores the meaning behind key stories in Genesis through the framework of the Aleinu prayer.

A Time To Keep Silence, and A Time To Speak

Tragic events this past summer brought a wave of protests against racial injustice that shows few signs of abating. Yitzhak Grossman shares how rabbinic leaders in the United States and Israel have historically approached the tactic of protest, and explores what their views might mean for our current moment.