Author Archives: Alec Goldstein

Alec Goldstein received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University. He is the author of A Theology of Holiness and is the founder of Kodesh Press. He can be reached at [email protected].

The Redemptive Power of the Etrog

by R. Alec Goldstein The very first sin in human history was when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, but the Bible never specifies what that fruit was. In some circles, there is widespread—but mistaken—belief that the fruit was an apple, apparently because the Latin word for “evil” and “apple” are spelled similarly: mālum vs. mălum. Really, a mistake ...

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A Shrine of Oneness

by R. Alec Goldstein … Ve-hayah ha-mishkan eḥad, “and the tabernacle will be one” (Exod. 26:6). This half a verse captured my attention several years ago, especially because of its placement. This phrase and its companion va-yehi ha-mishkan eḥad (Exod. 36:13) seem like they could be a grand prolegomenon and stunning crescendo for the construction of the tabernacle, yet both ...

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The Biblical Maimonides: Shemot

by R. Alec Goldstein Now available as a book: link One may easily quip that if Maimonides wanted to write a commentary on the Torah, he would have done so. However, even though he never authored a linear commentary, he quotes biblical verses throughout his writings, and it seems to me that there might be an interest in collecting the ...

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Sin, Repentance, and Human Nature

by R. Alec Goldstein God is hopeful of man, but also suspicious of him I. An understanding of teshuvah—a Hebrew word that loosely means “repentance” or “regret”—must necessarily be dependent on how we understand human nature in general. If human nature is fundamentally good, then teshuvah will be like a minor edit of character—here are a few points we need ...

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The Ten Plagues & Egyptian Mythology

by R. Alec Goldstein I would like to explore a thesis, not new but also not widespread in the Jewish world, that the plagues were in response to Egyptian mythology. However, a few points are necessary. First, I am not an Egyptologist; I strongly urge the reader to treat any findings here as preliminary. Second, the Egyptian pantheon was extremely ...

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Philosophical Implications of Pirsumei Nissa

by R. Alec Goldstein There is a common human experience to share news of our good fortune with others. Whether it is excitement about a new job, a new relationship, a new car, or a new home, there is a natural jubilation that overtakes us and prompts us to share these happy developments with those around us. Judaism has a ...

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