Lilith in Tanach

I know this could easily have been determined with a concordance, but since I didn’t use one, this surprised me. As I make my way slowly but (sometimes) steadily through Isaiah, I discovered a fascinating verse. The prophet, in describing the utter desolation that will be the fate of Babylonia as a consequence of their […]

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Far Cry or Close Call?

In the world of “kiruv,” or “Jewish outreach” as it’s known (although kiruv literally means “bringing close”), there exist two “targets” of these efforts: unaffiliated Jews, and formally affiliated Jews who have “strayed from the path.” The contemporary Hebrew terminology for outreach to the former group is “kiruv rechokim” (“bringing close those who are distant”), […]

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G-d’s Blood?

The Talmud (Gitin 56B) records a catastrophic incident in Jewish history that took place when the Romans destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. When Titus (then general, son of Emperor Vespasian, later Emperor himself) entered the Holy of Holies (inner sanctum of the Temple), among the revulsive acts of absolute desecration he performed there, he plunged his […]

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We have only ourselves to blame

The words of G-d through His prophet Isaiah (27:4): I have no wrath; if only I could be as briars and thorns at war, I would step on her, I would set them aflame altogether. Rashi explains: “I have no wrath” — I cannot express My case to pour out my wrath against the nations, for Israel, too, […]

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