Naso 5780-2020

The Ordeal of the Sotah -- Barbaric or Enlightened?
(Revised and Updated from Parashat Naso 5761-2001)

To the contemporary mind, the Torah’s method of addressing the issue of a woman suspected of being unfaithful to her husband, the Sotah, and the ordeal to which she is subjected, is rather challenging. However, the ritual of the Sotah reveals many fascinating relational truths, and provides some important answers to questions we frequently face in our present-day marital relationships.

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Pinchas 5779-2019

“The Daughters of Zelophehad: Legitimate Feminist Claims”
(Revised and updated from Pinchas 5760-2000)

Distinguishing between legitimate and non-legitimate claims has become a challenging issue, especially when “political correctness” is mixed into the brew. In parashat Pinchas, we encounter the revolutionary claim of the daughters of Zelophehad who win the right to inherit their father’s ancestral land in Israel. Along with other issues concerning women that are found in the Torah, the case of Zelophehad’s daughters underscores that Judaism was always ahead of other civilizations in establishing fair and equitable parameters for Jewish women.

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Mishpatim 5776-2016

“Jewish Women and Conjugal Rights”

The Torah regards the act of providing one’s wife with sexual pleasure as a foremost requirement of marriage.

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Chayei Sarah 5774-2013

"Yitzchak Establishes a Home with His New Wife"

The betrothal of Isaac and Rebecca can serve as a most valuable case study for finding a mate and establishing a successful home environment.

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Kee Teitzei 5773-2013

"The ‘Mitzvah’ of Divorce, Revisited"

While stability in family life is a much hoped-for ideal, Judaism was remarkably ahead of its time in understanding that an unhappy husband or wife can sometimes not be reconciled, and that marriages must, at times, be terminated.

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Mishpatim 5771-2011

"Protecting the Rights of a Wife"

From the references to the Hebrew handmaiden that are found in parashat Mishpatim, our rabbis develop revolutionary guidelines regulating the treatment of Jewish wives.

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Vayeitzei 5771-2010

"The Hated Wife”

Is it possible that the great patriarch, Jacob, actually “hated” his wife? The commentators wrestle with this issue.

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Chayei Sarah 5771-2010

“What Shall I Do, My Parents Hate Him?!”

In parashat Chayei Sarah, we encounter the world’s first shidduch (arranged marriage) and the world’s first shadchan (matchmaker). In the past, we have discussed how Jewish law mandates that a woman not be married against her will, but what about the more general question related to children who refuse to listen to their parents’ opinion regarding choosing a mate, and wish to marry mates to whom their parents object? What is the protocol?

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Chayei Sarah 5770-2009

"The Willing Bride"

When Rebecca is asked by her family members if she wishes to join Eliezer on his journey back to Abraham in Canaan, she responds with a forceful "Yes!" Her response serves as a basis for several important laws that govern parent-child relationships in Judaism.

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0 Comments8 Minutes