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.

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.

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 Biblical Defense of Cities

Yehuda Goldberg explains how the Bible's depictions of the Tower of Babel and of Jerusalem teaches us about the risk and potential of cities.

The Birthplace of Infertility

Infertility figures as a tragic theme not only on Rosh Hashanah but also in biblical narrative and modern life. This morning, Yael Leibowitz writes lyrically on The Birthplace of Infertility.

Also the Diseases

At the height of the cholera epidemic in 1831, Hatam Sofer delivered a timely sermon on a perplexing midrash to Parshat Ki Tavo. The take-home, suggests Elli Fischer, is all-too familiar in the COVID era.

Parshat Ki Tavo: The Curse of the Law

Baruch Sterman describes how an encounter with a missionary led him to a greater understanding of Ramban's commentary on this week's Parshah.

Philosophy and Exegesis: Which Leads? A Review of Aaron Koller’s Unbinding Isaac

Zvi Grumet reviews Aaron Koller’s new book on the Akedah and evaluates his surprisingly novel approach to this formative biblical story.