Archive for May, 2011

Parshat Bamidbar

A most interesting and profound principle in understanding the essence of Torah learning is hidden away in a Rashi in Parshat Bamidbar. The verse (3.16) simply states that Moshe counted the Levi’im as instructed. In a parsha dealing with a census of the entire nation this in itself is not exceptional. However, there was a...

Empty vessels / full vessels.

Empty Vessels – Full Vessels An exercise in deciphering Talmudic metaphors. Three interpretations. Talmud Bavli Sukkah(46a) also Brachot (40a). תלמוד בבלי מסכת סוכה דף מו עמוד א ואמר רבי זירא ואיתימא רבי חנינא בר פפא: בא וראה שלא כמדת הקדוש ברוך הוא מדת בשר ודם; מדת בשר ודם, כלי ריקן מחזיק, מלא אינו מחזיק, אבל...

Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai

Lag b’omer 5771 – some reflections on the profound contribution of R.Shimeon bar Yochai to the understanding of Torah Judaism. He is primarily known in his role as the father of the mystical kabbalistic tradition in Judaism, however R.Shimeon was also known as one of the most prominent Tannaim, authors of the mishna, and a...