The Jewish war against Greek culture continued with its battle against Christianity, which is a blend of Jewish and Greek-Roman ideas, and continues today as well. The leading culture today is Western culture, built on the foundations of Christian culture. And so the points of difference that exist today between Torah and Western culture are also based on the points of struggle between Greek and Jewish philosophy.
In this week's Torah portion of Miketz, we encounter Yaakov's sons Yosef and Yehuda, two leaders in Israel who appear to represent two different approaches...What is very interesting is that we find in the writings of the saintly Rav Kook that the roles of Yosef and Yehuda seem to actually be reversed. Rav Kook deals with the concept of two Messiahs, one to be followed by the other; Messiah ben Yosef and Messiah ben David (descended from Yehuda)...
The encounter between Joseph and his brothers is the fifth in a series of stories in which clothes play a key role. What all five cases have in common is that they facilitate deception. In each case, they bring about a situation in which things are not as they seem.
"…what cannot be solved by wisdom, will eventually be solved by the passage of time." It seems that time is never neutral, and that its passage certainly influences decisions and events that take place in human society.
The Halachos of Book, Wine, and Restaurant Reviews
Is a person allowed to write balanced reviews of books? May one write reviews of other products, such as wine or restaurants? a person asks my opinion of a book, a wine, or a restaurant, may I answer truthfully, even if my personal negative opinion may result in the person choosing another product?
In the middle section of Parashat Miketz, that root is “shever.” Not only is it used many times, but it is also used with different meanings. We will take a look at several of the contexts and learn more about this important and versatile root.
All masters of Jewish thought deal with the relationship between the intellect and the emotion in Judaism. Rav Kook's holistic approach suggests an innovative way of harmonizing the heart & the mind to live a full life of Torah.
Why Heaven & Hell Aren't Mentioned More in the Torah?
As reward and punishment for the mitzvot, the Torah mainly describes that we will receive rain, victory, peace etc., but very rarely mentions heaven and hell. Rav Kook, in his innovative way, offers an original, beautiful and meaningful explanation, in addition to discussing transitions between exile and redemption.
Rav Kook already foresaw a century ago that democratic culture necessitates placing more stress in raising our children on pleasantness, rather than on discipline. This is an ideal in our evolving world, but also wise and beneficial. Discipline is always important but the balance changes over time.
The holiday of Hanuka commemorates both military and spiritual victories, of a national nature, during the Second Temple period. On the one hand, the one-day supply of oil in the Holy Temple miraculously lasted for eight days. On the other hand, the greatly outnumbered Jews also won incredible military victories over their Greek enemies, thus preserving the State of Judea for over 200 years. The war was fought also against the Hellenists [Greek sympathizers, mostly Jews], who sought to secularize the Jewish Nation.
Do the Hellenists of then have a parallel today?
It is thus no coincidence that Tamar, a heroic non-Jewish woman, became the ancestor of David, Israel’s greatest King. There are striking similarities between Tamar and the other heroic woman in David’s ancestry, the Moabite woman we know as Ruth.