Words are powerful. In Genesis, chapter one, God creates through words: “God said, ‘Let there be light!’—and there was light. . . . God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters,’. . . . God now said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image,’ ” (Genesis 1:3, 6, 26).
The wording of the verse gives rise to this debate. The text states that “Noah was a righteous man,” but immediately follows with the phrase “in his generation, he was above reproach. . . ” All of us, including the ancient Rabbis, are left to wonder if Noah is exceptional or not, if his righteousness would be universally righteous or simply righteous in his time.
While most readers of the Torah consider Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac as his most troubling deed, his treatment of his firstborn son, Ishmael and Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, is also deeply disturbing.
Do you remember the first time you laid eyes on your beloved? Do you recall your feelings the moment you saw the love of your life?
This week's Torah portion begins with the phrase, V'eileh toldot Yitzchak ben Avraham, "This is the line of Isaac son of Abraham" (Genesis 25:19), indicating that the text is now going to focus on Isaac, the second of the Patriarchs of our tradition.
As Parashat Vayeitzei begins Jacob is fleeing from his home in Beersheba. He’s afraid his brother, Esau, will make good on his threat to kill Jacob (Genesis 27:41), because Jacob (with Rebecca’s guidance) tricked their father, Isaac into giving the blessing for the firstborn to Jacob.
Elie Wiesel has written, "In Jewish history, a name has its own history and its own memory. It connects beings with their origins.
It was the winter of 1999 in Israel, and my sister had come to visit me while I lived there. We planned a trip to Masada and everyone told us that we should leave near sunrise in order to hike up at the coolest part of the day. Did we listen? No.