Leah—The Mother of the Covenant Nation

Posted by on Dec 4, 2022 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Did Ya’akov hate his wife, Leah? It appears so, when we read the verse which clearly says that YHVH saw that Leah was hated. But was she indeed hated by her husband Ya’akov? For the purpose of this study, we will focus on a single verse in Genesis 29 which indeed says that Leah was hated. In the following, however, we will argue that Ya’akov did not hate Leah, on the contrary, he loved her. By this we will not question the credibility of the Torah, let it...

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The Barren Women of the Bible

Posted by on Nov 20, 2022 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The Hebrew Bible has the miraculous stories of six barren women, their conception, and giving birth to male children. We will address them in the following vein and offer another one for the reader’s consideration, as we will explain the reason for this in due course. There is a well-established Rabbinic tradition that the conception of Yitschak the son of Avraham was entirely by way of promise, not natural. His miraculous conception and birth, however, are not unique to...

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When Binyamin Merited the Temple

Posted by on Oct 16, 2022 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Much is known of the involvement of the tribe of Levi in the Temple service and reverence for YHVH. Traditional commentators offer extended explanations of the Levites’ role in the Temple, but very little of Binyamin and the sanctuary. In the following, we would like to posit another way to look at the youngest son of the patriarch, Binyamin, and specifically in reference to his merit to have the Temple built on the land of his tribe. We will explore the connection of...

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A Stranger on the Way to Egypt

Posted by on Nov 28, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The patriarch Ya’akov had now entered upon his father’s inheritance after his return from Mesopotamia, and the narrator of our story felt the necessity to begin with the genealogy of Ya’akov telling us know that his son Yoseph was seventeen years old. This strange beginning of the narrative with Ya’akov’s favorite son and especially with the notice of his age is introduced here with reference to the principal topic in the story: the sale of...

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The Most Contested Piece of Land

Posted by on Nov 22, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Great Britain governed Palestine from 1922 until 1947. Since 1922, Jewish immigration to Palestine had increased, and therefore the tensions between Arabs and Jews to become the most contested piece of land. While the European Jewry and the Jews in Palestine supported the war against the Nazi Germany and even participated in it, the Arabs openly lined up with Hitler and more particularly for the extermination of all Jews in Palestine. At that time, the term...

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When Heaven Intervened Once More

Posted by on Nov 14, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The inheritance tensions were central to the development of Israel as a nation. First, we witnessed Avraham’s concerns that he would remain childless and his trusted servant Eliezer would inherit him, despite the Covenant YHVH made with Avraham. Then, the strife between Avraham’s wife Sarah and her maidservant: Who would be the matriarch of the family, and who would inherit Avraham: Ishmael or Yitschak. By sending away Ishmael, Sarah secured the line of...

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Did Yitschak Allow to Be Deceived in His Blessing?

Posted by on Nov 8, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The motive of a mother advocating on behalf of her son is found in two biblical stories of the matriarchs of the nation of Israel. After Yitschak was molested by Ishmael, Sarah urged Avraham to send Hagar away along with her son, so only her son Yitschak would inherit, according to the promise. After Sarah’s ultimatum that Hagar and her son be expelled, Avraham became grieved, but YHVH advised him to listen to his wife. Rivkah, the new matriarch of the family, too...

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Avraham gained righteousness but lost a son

Posted by on Oct 31, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

The story of offering Yitschak as a human sacrifice is perhaps the most discussed part of the entire Scripture. Avraham had longed to have a son such as Yitzchak for twenty-five years. When he was finally born, his love for him must have grown from year to year. But when he was suddenly commanded to sacrifice his son with his own hands, he must have felt in a state of uncertainty. And who would not have? But Avraham did not hesitate or challenge the command or even ask for...

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Ishmael and Israel: Rivalry and Accord

Posted by on Oct 23, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Ishmael and Israel are the sons of Avraham and the founding fathers of two great nations. Each of them fathered twelve sons, who became the backbones of two peoples: Arabs and Israelites. While Ishmael and Israel took two quite different and even opposite turns in their development as nations, they share some common traits. As sons of the common ancestor Avraham, they have much in common. Both nations are regarded as Semites, the descendants of Shem son of Noach, and as...

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Readiness and Patience as Virtues of Faith

Posted by on Oct 18, 2021 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Readiness to do the will of the Most High and patience in the endurance of doing it are virtues of faith that have been intentionally or negligently left out. In this introduction to Readiness and Patience as Virtues of Faith we would like to clarify certain ideas that have not been entertained at all or too little, and whose depths have not been perceived. In order to clarify this issue in its entirety, we must initially make some inquiries about two colossal minds in the...

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Did Avraham Observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread?

Posted by on Jan 27, 2021 in The Appointed Times of YHVH, The Patriarchs' Saga

According to the tradition, Avraham celebrated Passover with an unleavened bread. While the term Peisach, Passover, was first used for the Passover lambs slaughtered by the Israelites in Egypt, Avraham did celebrate a feast, in which he ate an unleavened bread, hundreds of years before the Festival of the Unleavened Bread was even constituted at Sinai. So, was the law of Passover and the Festival of the Unleavened Bread given to Avraham, before it was given to Israel in...

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The Unknown Mothers of the Tribes of Israel

Posted by on Dec 15, 2020 in The Patriarchs' Saga

Who are the mothers of the tribes of Israel and what do we know about them? We know much about Sarah, Rivkah, Leah, and Rachel, the recognized and honored matriarchs of Israel. Sadly, little honor is given to the other wives of the patriarch Ya’akov, the forgotten Bilhah and Zilpah, to the point that they are rarely mentioned and hardly recognized as matriarchs of Israel, as Leah and Rachel are. But how much do we know about the unknown mothers of the tribes of...

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