Sage Insights is a series of resource sheets and articles drawing on insights from Chazal (the Sages) to flesh out the topic at hand.
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How Do You Shpiel Chanukah?
An examination of our favorite Chanukah traditions - from a focus on the Sages and their insights - to answer the question of "how do we 'shpiel' Chanukah?"
Save "Sheet 365329"
Mimouna: A Mouthwatering Moroccan Moed
What is Mimouna? Since at least as far back as the mid-18th century CE, the Jews of the North African diaspora have had a tradition of holding a special feast the day after the end of Unleavened Bread to celebrate freedom and a return to eating leavened foods. Though a recent tradition, some ancient traditions are incorporated.
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Passover: Defining Kosher l'Pesach
Different Jewish communities have different definitions of "kosher l'Pesach," and those differences don't end with the allowance or prohibition of kitniyot.
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Parashat Shemini: Sage Insight on Kashrut
The food definitions of Torah are not presented in tandem with any explanations, i.e. why certain animals are not food for followers of Hashem. While it should be enough to simply obey "because G-d said so," many of our Sages have offered insight into why these definitions are as they are.
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Parashat Tsav: Yemenite Insight on Sacrifice
The purpose for and practice of the sacrificial system has been explained in a number of ways. The Yemenite insight on this is explored herein using both Rambam and 14th-century sources central to Nusach Teiman.
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Parashat Vayiqra: The Aleph Calls Out
An examination of the reasons postulated for the small aleph in the first word of Vayiqra is presented, both from a scribal perspective and a spiritual one.
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Parashat Pequdei: A Torah Perspective on a Cloudy Day
Sage Insights on the significance of the Cloud of the Presence in Shemot 40:33-38 of Parashat Pequdei
Brian Tice133 ViewsFebruary 26, 2022Pillar of Cloud,Mishkan,Parashat Pekudei
Save "Sheet 387406"
Parashat Vayak'hel: The Sabbath Prohibitions
The 39 malakhot (Shabbat prohibitions) is a list comprised of the 39 activities pertaining to the building of the Tabernacle. The halakha which stems from this is presented herein.
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Sage Insight on the Oral Torah
The concept of "the one whole Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu" including both the Written and the Oral is central to rabbinic Judaism, but has often come under fire as not being legitimate and/or binding - whether by the Sadduceeic sect of late antiquity or by modern critics (including neo-Karaite, Islamic, and Christian voices). The etiology and legitimacy is herein examined through insights from the Sages.
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Parashat Ki Tissa: The 13 Attributes of Mercy
The 13 Attributes of Mercy is the heart of Hashem's response to the Golden Calf debacle. It is alluded to many times in the Tanakh and is central to the selichot prayers which we recite on the fast days of the Jewish calendar.
Save "Sheet 383108"
Zayin Adar: The Yahrzeit of Rabbeinu Moshe
Zayin Adar, or Shevat Adar, is the generally-accepted date for the birth and death of Moshe Rabbeinu. Traditionally marked by fasting and special additional prayers, this is more a day to celebrate Moshe's life than to mourn his passing.
Save "Sheet 383218"
Parashat Tetzaveh: The Kohen's New Clothes
Sage Insights with regard to the garments prescribed for the Levitical priesthood in this week's parashah, as well as some orthographical observations respecting the sofrut practices associated with the parashah.
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Parashat Terumah: The Mishkan and its Covering
A contextual-grammatical examination of some linguistic nuances of the parashah, exploring the significance and meaning of the Mishkan and its uppermost covering.
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Parashat Mishpatim: Sins which Lead to Death
Parashat Mishpatim presents a number of legal statutes, including those which require capital punishment. Herein we focus on those, including discussion of both the scribal layout of the passage and the Sage insights into its exegesis.
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Parashat Yitro: Torah from Sinai
What is the "Torah" that was given to Israel at Mount Sinai? Was it just the Esrei haD'varim? Was it the entirety of the Torah shebikhtav? Or was it the full Torah (both the Written and the Oral)?
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Parashat Beshalach: Mi Kamoekha - Block by Block
Nestled in the center of Parashat B'shalach, we encounter the song sung by the Israelites upon their deliverance from Egyptian captivity. The Song of the Sea is the first specially-formatted song of the Torah. Herein, we examine the structure, the layout, and the meaning "block by block."
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Sofrut and the Accuracy of the Torah
The accuracy of the transmission of the Torah text is unsurpassed by any other text (manuscript tradition) in antiquity. This sheet discusses how this feat was accomplished.
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Parshiyot Va'eira uBo: Let My People Go!
Given the centrality of the free will concept to Judaism, the question arises in light of the English translations of Shemot (Exodus) re: how Hashem could "harden Pharaoh's heart" without violating his free will. This study addresses that question.
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Parashat Lekh Lekha: The Birkhat Avraham
Sage Insights on why the Avrahamic Blessing extends through Yitzchak, to the exclusion of Ishmael, and how "the families of the earth" come to be blessed through Avraham/Israel.
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Parashat Shemot: An Undeniably Mosaic Prosaic
A defense of Mosaic authorship of the Torah through both classical Jewish sages and modern scholars
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