Posts Tagged ‘Gersonides’

Shoftim 5781

August 10, 2021

This is Torah Talk for the week of August 8th, 2021

Deut. 18:9   When you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the abhorrent practices of those nations. 10 Let no one be found among you who consigns his son or daughter to the fire, or who is an augur [קֹסֵ֣ם קְסָמִ֔ים], a soothsayer, a diviner, a sorcerer, 11 one who casts spells, or one who consults ghosts or familiar spirits, or one who inquires of the dead.

 

Do you believe in magic?  It seems like Deuteronomy does.  Are the people who are dowsing for water today acting against the Bible? + Special Bonus! Was Balaam a magician … or not?

 

This week’s handout: 48 Shoftim 5781

Click here to read about the people who are dowsing for water today.

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Beha’alotcha 5781

May 25, 2021

This is Torah Talk for the week of May 23rd, 2021

Num. 11:1   The people took to, like, complaining [וַיְהִי הָעָם כְּמִתְאֹנְנִים] bitterly before the Lord.

As if!  What does this verb really mean, and why were they “like” doing it?

This week’s handout: 36 Beha’alotcha 5781

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Miketz 5781

December 15, 2020

This is Torah Talk for the week of December 13th, 2020

Gen. 44:9     Whichever of your servants it is found with shall die; the rest of us, moreover, shall become slaves to my lord.”  10 He replied, “Although what you are proposing is right [גַּם־עַתָּ֥ה כְדִבְרֵיכֶ֖ם כֶּן־ה֑וּא], only the one with whom it is found shall be my slave; but the rest of you shall go free.”

What does this puzzling text mean — and what makes the commentators respond to this situation so differently?

This week’s handout: 10 Miketz 5781

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Vayishlach 5781

December 1, 2020

This is Torah Talk for the week of November 29th, 2020

Gen. 32:20       Jacob set up an altar there and called it El-elohe-yisrael.

What does this name mean … and why would you name an altar?

This week’s handout: 08 Vayishlach 5781

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Once again, you can click here to listen to Ben Sommer’s interview about his book “The Bodies of God.”

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Lech Lecha 5781

October 27, 2020

 

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 25th, 2020

Gen. 12:5         Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the wealth that they had amassed, and the persons that they had made [וְאֶת־הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־עָשׂ֣וּ] in Haran; and they set out for the land of Canaan.

The medieval commentators explain what it is to “make” a person — and Albert Baumgarten explains how you do it.

This week’s handout: 03 Lech Lecha 5781

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Va-etchanan 5780

July 28, 2020

This is Torah Talk for the week of July 26th, 2020

Deut 7:9 says that God “keeps His covenant faithfully to the thousandth generation of those who love Him and keep His commandments” — but “commandments” is spelled as if it were singular.  Is this a misspelling, an old-fashioned spelling, or something more significant?

This week’s handout: 45 Va-etchanan 5780

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For much more than you want to know about this suffix, see “The Morphological Development of the 3 M. Sg. Pronominal Suffix on Plural Nouns in Classical Hebrew,” by Jeremy Hutton et al., in 2 parts, in Hebrew Studies 59 (2018) and 60 (2019).

Lech Lecha 5780

November 5, 2019

This is Torah Talk for the week of November 3rd, 2019

Why were Abram and Sarai’s names changed?

This week’s handout: 03 Lech Lecha 5780

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Bereshit 5780

October 22, 2019

This is Torah Talk for the week of October 20th, 2019

The “sons of God,” the “daughters of men,” and the mysterious word ידון.

This week’s handout: 01 Bereshit 5780

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