Hashem’s Ethics Are Not Always Ours

by R. Gidon Rothstein Akedat Yitzhak, Sha’ar Twenty-Seven, Part 2 The Exceptionalism of Learning from Hashem Directly R. Arama returns to his original analogy of a human being as a tree. Trees root in the ground, and their branches extend from their trunks. Humans generally must rely on their intellects to understand the world around them, to evaluate their choices, ...

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Character Follows Faith

by R. Gidon Rothstein Akedat Yitzhak, Sha’ar Twenty-Seven People of Torah values build their faith foundation first, then construct the content of their character, R. Arama intends this sha’ar to explain, in contrats to philosophers, who allow their intellectual examination of issues to shape their pre-exidsting character [an idea and issue certainly acute in our times, when many people assume ...

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Va-Yigash: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein A Correction/Expansion Two weeks ago, I noted an example of Onkelos translating va-yeshevu le’ekhol lekhem, as ve-isharu, taken by ArtScroll to mean they reclined. I suggested Onkelos was reading his own mode of eating, reclining, back into the Torah. However, a reader (A. Yonatan Schechter) pointed out to me that Jastrow (the Aramaic-English dictionary when I was growing up, ...

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