29 11, 2017

What really happened at the Red Sea?

By |2017-11-29T13:54:13-07:00November 29th, 2017|Thoughts|

After years of devastating slavery, God aided Moses in leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Several days after the Exodus, the erstwhile slaves reached the banks of the Red Sea, also called the Sea of Reeds. They felt trapped and saw no escape. If they moved forward into the sea in front of them they [...]

22 10, 2017

Did Moses write the entire Torah?

By |2017-10-22T06:27:40-07:00October 22nd, 2017|Thoughts|

 Ibn Ezra’s “Secret of the Twelve”   Did Moses write the entire Torah? Do traditional Jewish commentators differ on the subject?   Who wrote the story of the death of Moses? The twelve verses of Deuteronomy chapter 34 tell the story of the death of Moses. The introductory four verses narrate how God told Moses [...]

3 03, 2016

More on the Post-Moses Era Possibly Not Knowing about Moses’ Torah

By |2016-03-03T03:47:57-07:00March 3rd, 2016|Thoughts|

                               More on the Post-Moses Era Possibly Not Knowing about Moses' Torah    As I previously stated,[1] scholars insist that there is no indication in the biblical books that the Israelites knew about Moses’s Torah or observed the laws contained in it until the time of King Josiah (641–609 BCE). An example is the Mishkan [...]

21 02, 2016

Did the Generations of Post-Moses Israelites Know about the Torah?

By |2016-02-21T07:30:22-07:00February 21st, 2016|Thoughts|

                          Did the Generations of Post-Moses Israelites Know about the Torah?   Scholars reject the traditional teaching and suggest that the ancient Israelites knew nothing about the Torah until the time of King Josiah (649–609 BCE).[1] Among much else, it is significant that none of the biblical books before this time mention Moses’s [...]

31 01, 2016

“Tell Me the Truth, Moses, What Really Happened at the Red Sea?”

By |2016-01-31T08:31:30-07:00January 31st, 2016|Thoughts|

                            “Tell Me the Truth, Moses, What Really Happened at the Red Sea?”   After years of devastating slavery, God aided Moses in leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Several days after the Exodus, the erstwhile slaves reached the banks of the Red Sea, also called the Sea of Reeds. They felt trapped and [...]

5 10, 2014

Have humans changed the Torah?

By |2014-10-05T23:22:01-07:00October 5th, 2014|Book Reviews|

  Unlocking the Torah Text An In-depth Journey into the Weekly Devarim By Shmuel Goldin Gefen Publishing House, 2014, 431 pages             This is the fifth volume in which Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, offers readers a very interesting “innovative educational approach to Torah study.” Rabbi Goldin has served as a rabbi in Englewood, New Jersey since [...]

29 09, 2014

Three tales with profound lessons

By |2014-10-03T02:09:27-07:00September 29th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                             Three rabbinical tales with profound rational lessons[1]   Maimonides, in his Commentary on the Mishnah, Introduction to Perek Chelek, describes how one should understand rabbinical stories and declares that most people do not deal with rabbinic Midrashim[2] correctly. According to Maimonides, three clusters of people exist, each taking a radically different approach to [...]

25 07, 2014

Psychoanalyzing Moses

By |2014-07-25T04:14:41-07:00July 25th, 2014|Book Reviews|

                            Moses and the Path to Leadership By Zvi Grumet Urim Publications, 2014, 239 pages ISBN 978-965-524-155-6   Zvi Grumet’s informative book on the development of Moses’s leadership ability affords readers an opportunity to psychoanalyze and better understand Israel’s first national leader as well as themselves. According to Grumet: “The early narratives of Moses’s [...]

8 06, 2014

Why did Moses send spies if God was helping the Israelites?

By |2014-06-08T07:58:42-07:00June 8th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                           Why did Moses send spies if God was helping the Israelites?                                                                                                Shelach (Chapters 13:1–15:41)     The plain reading of the Torah text reveals a discrepancy. There are two different accounts concerning the dispatching of spies to reconnoiter Canaan in advance of the impending military offensive to conquer the land during [...]

6 04, 2014

Did Moses write the entire Torah?

By |2014-04-06T07:51:53-07:00April 6th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                       Ibn Ezra’s “Secret of the Twelve”   Did Moses write the entire Torah? Do traditional Jewish commentators differ on the subject?   Who wrote the story of the death of Moses? The twelve verses of Deuteronomy chapter 34 tell the story of the death of Moses. The introductory four verses narrate how God told [...]

26 01, 2014

More on the possibility that the post-Moses-era Israelites knew nothing about the Torah – Joshua 22

By |2014-01-26T05:12:06-07:00January 26th, 2014|Thoughts|

  More on the possibility that the post-Moses-era Israelites knew nothing about the Torah                                                                         Joshua 22   As previously stated,[1] there seems to be no indication in the biblical books describing life after the days of Moses until the time of King Josiah (641-609) that the Israelites knew about Moses’ Torah or observed the [...]

15 09, 2013

A Startling Reevaluation of Three Rabbinical Tales

By |2013-09-15T23:03:27-07:00September 15th, 2013|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin                                       This essay is adapted from my book Maimonides: The Exceptional Mind.   Maimonides[1] describes how one should understand rabbinical tales and Midrashim,[2] and declares that most people do not deal with rabbinic Midrashim[3] correctly. According to Maimonides, three clusters of people exist, each taking a radically different approach to [...]

31 08, 2013

Haazinu – Beyond the Text

By |2013-08-31T21:02:11-07:00August 31st, 2013|Thoughts|

The following is a brief version of an excerpt from “Beyond the Bible Text” by Rabbi Dr. Stanley Wagner and me that will be published in September 2013. We usually put three articles for each biblical portion, generally discussing thought-provoking subjects that people will not find elsewhere. This week’s essay is from HA’AZINU. While I [...]

10 08, 2013

Why Mistreat the Canaanites?

By |2013-08-10T23:10:38-07:00August 10th, 2013|Thoughts|

                Why does the Bible require Israelites to treat Canaanites brutally?                                             By Israel Drazin     The Torah appears to lack respect for Canaanites and seems to order that they be mistreated. In Deuteronomy 7:2, for example, the Torah states: “You must smite them, utterly destroy them; make no covenant with them, and [...]

20 03, 2013

Rabbi Soloveitchik on Joseph and Moses

By |2013-03-20T04:37:58-07:00March 20th, 2013|Book Reviews|

                                                                               Review by Israel Drazin    Vision and Leadership Reflections on Joseph and Moses By Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Ktav Publishing House, 2013, 239 pages   This is the latest of the so-far eleven posthumous writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993) based on writings he did not publish. This one contains a dozen essays [...]

22 02, 2013

Unusual Biblical Interpretations 15

By |2013-02-22T06:28:25-07:00February 22nd, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                      By Israel Drazin     Many Bible commentators noted that the biblical portion Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10) is the only biblical portion from the beginning of Exodus to the end of the five books of Moses that does not mention Moses. Many explanations for this phenomenon have been offered. The Vilna Gaon, for [...]