Category: Midrash

Hebrew for “delving,” specifically of a religious text. In this context, the text is also life.

Happy 5779!

MAY YOU HAVE A SWEET, joyous, happy and rewarding New Year! And may your resolutions not prove too daunting; on reflection, may you not bog down in a swamp of self-recrimination. As the Talmud says, “All beginnings are difficult.” And…

365 Names of God: El Shaddai

EL SHADDAI is the name used primarily by the Biblical Patriarchs, usually translated as “God Almighty” and focusing on the deity’s providential or nurturing aspect. Scholars differ over whether “Shaddai” is cognate with similar Phoenician or Ugaritic words for mountains,…

The Torah can be taken, among other things, as a ‘polyphonic’ text, or a loose anthology of competing claims regarding the legal stipulations of the covenant. The edited Torah, following this approach, was not meant to be read as a practical and coherent handbook on how to carry out the law, but as a collage of competing understandings of the requirements of the covenant.

— Rabbi David Frankel

Living-Room Torah

INSIDE A MODEST HOME ON Sonoma’s East Side sits our town’s best-kept open Jewish secret. Dubbed the “France Street Shtibbl” (or, for non-Yiddish speakers, the “France Street Beit Midrash (house of study)”), our living room has hosted a semi-monthly (or,…