Torah Commentaries

Torah Commentaries

Parashat Tetzaveh: Pinterest for Priests

The Torah’s elaborate description of the priestly vestments reminds us that clothing has the power to change how we feel.

Torah Commentaries

Parashat Terumah: Hidden Gifts

In building a sanctuary in the wilderness, God calls on the Israelites to contribute the gifts they don’t even know they have.

Torah Commentaries

Parashat Mishpatim: Overcoming Victimhood

This Torah portion offers a vital ethical message for a people who have suffered centuries of oppression.

Parashat Yitro: On Leadership and Family

In a Torah portion long understood to be a lesson in leadership, we are led to believe Moses all but ignored those closest to him.

Parashat Beshalach: Sustaining Creation Through Song

Why the creation of the Jewish nation in Parashat Beshalach was marked by singing praises to God.

Parashat Bo: The Miracle of Mixed Multitudes

Parashat Bo reminds us of the beautiful world that can be built in an instant, even after destruction and heartache.

Parshat Vaera: What the Torah Leaves Out

This Torah portion features a passage recounting the genealogy of Moses and Aaron -- with some glaring omissions.

Parashat Shemot: The Essential Name of God

Moses’ inquiry about God’s name reveals the essential quality of how God manifests in the world.

Parashat Vayechi: The Legend of You and Me

Jacob’s blessing to his son Joseph offers a potent metaphor about maintaining steadfastness in a world defined by rapid change.

Parshat Vayigash: A Tale of Two Brothers

This Torah portion opens with a passionate exchange between Joseph and Judah, two brothers with distinct personalities.

Parashat Miketz: Coercion vs. Love

This Torah portion begs the question of whether it’s acceptable to use coercive power to have people to do something that’s good for them.

Parashat Vayishlach: Honoring the Best of Jacob

This Torah portion interperses multiple momentous encounters with the divine realm with a series of fraught incidents between humans.

Parashat Vayetzei: Leah’s Hidden Blessing

Why does the Torah specifically mention the "weak eyes" of the matriarch Leah?

Parashat Toldot: Opening the Conversation

This portion records the first instance in the Torah of someone initiating a dialogue with God.

Chayei Sarah: The Reverberations of Familial Violence

The lingering trauma of Isaac’s near-sacrifice is felt in his relationship with his wife Rebecca and in the generations that follow.