Author Archives: Ezra Bick

R. Ezra Bick is a Ram at Yeshivat Har Etzion and the Director of the yeshiva's Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash Project.

The Purpose of Signs and Miracles According to the Ramban

by Rav Ezra Bick In his comments on the commandment of tefillin (Shemot 13:16), the Ramban offers a general theory of “signs” in Judaism, and, inter alia, a summary of the purpose of signs and mitzvot in general. In fact, this is a summary of the purpose of human life and of creation. The two subjects – the meaning of “signs” and the purpose of ...

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Mann: What?!

by R. Ezra Bick Let us ask the question the Jews asked in the desert, when they first encountered the manna: The Israelites saw, and they said to each other, “WHAT (‘mann’) is it,” for they did not know what it was (16,15). I would like to change the meaning of the question slightly. What precisely is the point of ...

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When Rivka Met Yitzchak

by Rav Ezra Bick After the opening section of the parasha, describing the purchase of the Cave of Machpela by Avraham for the purpose of burying Sara, the rest of the parasha is devoted to the shiduch of Yitzchak and Rivka. The majority of this story describes at length and in detail the story of Avraham’s servant and his meeting with Rivka ...

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Mann: What?!

Let us ask the question the Jews asked in the desert, when they first encountered the manna: The Israelites saw, and they said to each other, “WHAT (‘mann’) is it,” for they did not know what it was (16,15). I would like to change the meaning of the question slightly. What precisely is the point of having manna fall from ...

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The Blindness of Yitzchak

Introductory Note [as part of a series on VBM -ed]: This essay will make liberal use of midrashim in order to understand the personality and spiritual qualities of Yitzchak. There is a widespread tendency to view peshat and midrash as mutually exclusive, seeing drash as appropriate for rabbis making a point in a sermon but not as genuinely addressing the ...

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