Archive for 'biblical history'

Invocation at the Night to Honor Israel 2009

Many Jews have prayed for the return to our biblical homeland. “And let our eyes behold thy return in mercy to Zion. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who restorest thy divine presence unto Zion.”

Today, we are witnessing one of the greatest miracles of human history–the return of the Jewish people to her ancestral homeland. We are living in an age of miracles; a fulfillment of the biblical ingathering of the exiles spoken in Isaiah. Israel is, as Abraham Joshua Heschel ...

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Creation as Novelty

In honor of the new Torah reading cycle, I thought I would explain some thoughts about the parsha as it pertains to the miracle of Creation.

However, Ibn Ezra is less convinced and contends that the linguistic evidence does not support such an interpretation.[7] The verb בָּרָא’ may also mean to fashion something out of already existing materials (e.g., the creation of man, whose body came from the dust of the earth, and whose soul issued forth from God’s breath).[8] Ibn ...

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Appreciating the Ecological Principles of Leviticus

Leviticus always gets a bad rap when it comes to the students of the Bible. Granted, it’s not as interesting as the opening chapters of Genesis, but Leviticus possesses a rich tapestry of symbolism that ...

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Questions with regard to the afterlife.

Q My cousin said to me that when we pass away, we automatically go to heaven. I have searched the Talmud and cannot seem to find anything like that at all. Would you please tell me where I can find this or any reference to us going to heaven?

A It seems to me your grandfather was referring to a famous Mishnah found in the beginning of the 10th chapter of Sanhedrin, which states:

All Israel have a portion in the ...

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Conversation with Spinoza: Spinoza’s Interpretation of the Peshat.

No Jewish philosophy of biblical interpretation would be complete without mentioning the thoughts of Baruch Spinoza (1632–77), who deservedly is the one of the founding fathers of modern historical criticism. He was the first modern Judaic thinker to encourage the reader to move away from the traditional rabbinic and ecclesiastical authorities who defined the meaning of the text for their generations. He encouraged each person to make a scientific examination of the biblical ...

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