Genesis

Isaac: Blindness, Aging And Disability In Genesis

It came to pass when Isaac was old, and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called Esau his elder son, and he said to him, "My son," and he said to him, "Here I am." [Genesis Chapter 27:1}

Isaac’s problem with his vision is the first time that we confront an overt disability in the Torah. (The first mentioned disability is infertility, but this is a “hidden disability”). So it’s not surprising that there have been a number of different responses to Isaac’s blindness and explanations proffered about how and why Isaac was afflicted in this way.  In these responses we can see a range of different perspectives on disability that are commonly held and which inform the various ways we view disability.

Melinda Jones

Exploring And Interpreting Disability In The Bible: Clearly And Comprehensively

In recognition of the Shavuot holiday beginning on Saturday night, June 11, we have invited Rabbi Michael Levy to share his perspective on Torah and disability. This is the first of two parts. Rabbi Levy dedicates his writing to the marriage of Motti and Zahava Sturm.

A young Jewish boy prays at a synagogue in downtown Tehran. Getty Images

Abraham And The World War

10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 6:03 p.m.
Torah: Gen. 12:1-17:27
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:-27-41:16
Havdalah: 7:02 p.m.

Sandra Rapoport

Something Out Of Nothing

10/08/2013 - 20:00

The art of living is one of self-creation. The Rabbis of the Talmud teach that when God says in Genesis, “Let us make man,” God is speaking with the royal “we.” But a later chasidic teaching argues that God is speaking to human beings — together we will make you. I will endow you with certain gifts and you must spend your life soul-shaping.

Rabbi David Wolpe

The Shofar Reminds Us To Listen For Unheard Cries

08/27/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

There are no tears like a mother's tears.

At the opening of the Book of Samuel, in a story we retell each Rosh Hashanah, we are introduced to Hannah, a woman distressed for the child she yearns to raise, but cannot conceive. The Book of Genesis recounts yet another story we read on Rosh Hashanah, the story of Hagar, a mother who, unable to stay with her son and watch him wither away to death from lack of water, can do nothing more than walk away from him and weep.

Rori PIcker Neiss

Rabbi, Why Are the Classical Sources Quiet on Child Abuse?

01/17/2013 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

A friend who read my article last week, on the subject of social and sexual pathologies in the Jewish community and the tendency to try and hide them, sent me an e-mail that could not conceal his frustration. Why is it, he asked, that given the rather brutal treatment that a number of children receive in the book of Genesis, the Torah itself does not address the issue of child abuse?

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Pet Therapy

04/04/2012 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Oy, life gets hard sometimes, no? We ride the roller coaster of our daily lives, sometimes barely hanging on, and looking for moments of respite from the craziness. For those of us who are pet lovers (dogs, cats, birds, fish, iguanas, etc.), one of the sweetest times of the day is when we come home to our beloved animal companions. Our animals often seem to have a supernatural ability to “get us,” and to know when we need extra special love and attention.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows
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