Jewish Philosophy

Kedoshim Tiheyu

In general the LAWS OF THE TORAH are given with all the details of the halachic system, but occasionally the Torah presents us with an insight into the goal or general purpose to which the entire halachic code is aimed. Do we have a ‘big picture’ answer to the question of what is the overall...

Sefirat Ha’Omer

Sefirat Ha-Omer The process of counting days from Pesach to Shavuot has profound significance in Jewish thought. This finds its expression in the pasuk from Tehillim 90.12 which reads: למנות ימינו כן הודע ונביא לבב חכמה “teach us to count our days and it will bring us a heart of wisdom”. What is the nature...

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...