21 03, 2021

Two biblical holidays celebrated at the same moment

By |2021-03-21T11:46:08-07:00March 21st, 2021|Thoughts|

  There are rabbis and scholars who are convinced that half of the biblical holiday of Passover was celebrated during the biblical holiday of Chag Hamatzot.   The problem I heard a rabbi and professor mistakenly tell his audience that the biblical holiday of “Passover” of the fourteenth day of the first month of the [...]

14 08, 2018

The solution is simple

By |2018-08-14T04:17:33-07:00August 14th, 2018|Thoughts|

                                                  In an exccelent and informative article, Professor Marty Lockshin of York University, a rabbi, examined the difficulty raised by Deuteronomy 13:2-4 and tells the solutions offered in a Midrash and by several medieval Jewish commentators.[1] I will add another solution. Deuteronomy states: “If there appears among you a prophet or a dream-diviner – [...]

24 12, 2017

Rashi’s grandson’s commentary of Ecclesiastes

By |2017-12-24T05:55:00-07:00December 24th, 2017|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Sara Japhet and Robert B. Salters, two highly respected scholars’ editing and translation of Rashbam’s commentary on Qoheleth (also spelt Kohelet, Ecclesiastes in English) is excellent. Rashbam was one of Jewry’s most supreme rational Bible commentators, part of a trio of top Jewish medieval rationalist, along with Maimonides and Abraham ibn Ezra. He was the [...]

17 12, 2017

Rashi’s greatest critic: his grandson

By |2017-12-17T08:09:35-07:00December 17th, 2017|Thoughts|

Rashi (1040-1105) is considered by many people to be the greatest Bible commentator. It is the first Bible commentary learnt by many Jewish Children. Both children and adults enjoy the commentary because Rashi was an excellent writer, and his commentary is filled with fascinating stories, called midrashim, which Rashi apparently believed were actual facts. He [...]

3 10, 2014

Was the great sage Rashbam Orthodox?

By |2014-10-03T03:55:36-07:00October 3rd, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                   Was the great sage Rashbam Orthodox?   I have been noting in many of my writings that Jews are not required to believe everything that the general population of Jews believe because, as in all cultures and religions, the general population is insufficiently educated, do not think for themselves, rely on superstitious teachings, [...]

15 05, 2014

Judges 13 – Samson’s inscrutable tale

By |2014-05-15T09:16:13-07:00May 15th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                    Chapter 13                                                                The inscrutable tale of Samson                                           Samson’s story is told in Judges in four chapters. The chapters state that he “judged Israel for twenty years”[1] twice: at the end of chapter 15 before the episode of Delilah, after describing various episodes where Samson seems to have violated [...]

3 07, 2013

Rashi: Sermons, commentaries, or both?

By |2013-07-03T09:56:22-07:00July 3rd, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                                       By Israel Drazin   I described the style of Rashi’s commentary in the past. It is brilliant, but it does not offer readers the plain meaning of the biblical text. Rashi (1040-1105) follows the worldview of the second century Rabbi Akiva: God composed the Torah, God is perfect, and must have written the [...]

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