Archive for 'Bible'

Symbolism of the Breastplate Stones

 

Note: I wrote this back in 1988 and it probably needs a new revision. But for those who find such topics interesting, here it is for your enjoyment.

Q.  What were the types of stones used in Aaron’s breastplate? What were the reasons a particular stone represented a particular tribe?

A. Ibn Ezra in his commentary to Exodus 28, noted that we really have no way to positively identifying the stones that were set ...

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Rediscovering the Meaning of Yahrzeit

One of the most important but also neglected customs of the year is when we observe the Yahrzeit of a loved one.  It occurs with such frequency that we often will forget about the date altogether because we may have forgotten the Hebrew calendar date.

According to R. Solomon Freehoff, this circumstance is the principle reason why he thinks a secular date of death may be used lest the actual day of Yahrzeit ...

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Bar Ilan University Review on — Torah from Alexandria: Genesis

Torah from Alexandria, Volume I: Genesis

Kodesh Press 2014

Edited by Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel 

Reviewed by Rabbi Ari D. Kahn, Echoes of Eden on the Pentateuch 

A very new, very old book has been published recently. Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel has set out to perform the herculean task of translating Philo ...

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Torah from Alexandria: Volume 2 on Exodus (brand new for 2015)

 

The second volume of Torah from Alexandria demonstrates Philo’s full spectrum as a Jewish thinker, where he serves as a story-teller retelling the Exodus, a jurist and counselor in his analysis of the Decalogue and later commandments, and an allegorist in his interpretation of the Tabernacle and its vessels. The unfolding of Jewish tradition is evident in these passages, where sometimes Philo represents the earliest source of a famous rabbinic interpretation, while ...

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Rescuing Spinoza from the Depths of Hell

This past week, the Jewish Chronicle published a remarkable article that caught my attention that I would like to write about, which just appeared in the news for the first time.[1]

The time: 2012

The place: Modern day Amsterdam.

The event:  A group of university scholars and leaders of the Amsterdam Jewish community meet to discuss the possibility of lifting a ban of excommunication made against Baruch Spinoza. This ban has been in effect for 356 ...

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