A Change of Scenery: Avraham’s Journey

If you don’t change direction, you may end up where you’re heading. Chinese Proverb (attributed to Laozi – probably falsely IMHO) The Question Part: Our sages tell us that when it says in Parshas Bereishis אלא תולדות שמים וארץ בהבראם – it means that the heavens and earth were created “for Avraham”. But you don’t have to resort to Talmudic homily to appreciate this, you…

I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim (Ki Tetzei)

לא-יבוא ממזר בקהל ה A bastard shall not come into the Congregation of the L-rd –Deuteronomy 23:3 I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling -Frida Kahlo Let’s discuss the shunned bastard. That mongrel who, through no apparent fault of his own, is forever doomed to carry the burden…

Superstitions & Divinations: Parshas Shoftim

Being Whole-hearted Due to the sometimes long quotes and nuanced subject matter, this can make for somewhat of a longer read. As such, I have supplied synopsis sections conspicuously labled TL;DR, so if you’d rather just rely on my summaries, or find your eyes glazing over – skip to there. As always, all the translations are my own (except for the ones with thou and…

Parshas Re’eh: Mourning and Self Flagellation

בנים אתם לה’ אלהיכם לא תתגדדו ולא תשימו קרחה בין עיניכם למת “You are children of the Lord, your God. You shall neither cut yourselves nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead” Deuteronomy 14:1 The concept of cutting oneself as an act of mourning is very foreign to the sensibilities of us modern-day westerners, but is surprisingly common among many unrelated pagan…