‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Belief in Creation was a major point of contention between Jews and Greek philosophers who believed that the world was eternal. In the Middle Ages, Jewish thinkers like Nahmanides expended a heroic amount of energy defending Creation and arguing against the universe’s eternity. At stake for them were the possibility of miracles, the power of God over nature and the truth of revelation, but this metaphysical debate seems stale today.
What is the true symbolism of the sukkah? The Talmud [B.T. Sukkah 11b] cites a difference of opinion between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer as to whether the sukkah commemorates the huts in which the Israelites dwelt in the desert, or the “clouds of glory” which encompassed us in the desert as a sign of Divine protection.
‘When a man takes a wife and marries her, and she does not find grace in his eyes because he has found her to be sexually immoral, he shall write her a bill of divorcement, give it to her in her hand, and send her away from his house” [Deuteronomy 24:1].
This text is the source for Jewish divorce law. At first glance, the Torah seems to be making two clear statements: a divorce can only be initiated if a major sin, such as adultery, has been committed, and that it is the husband who must unilaterally give the divorce to his wife.