From The Hashkafah Files

Why Do Epidemics Happen?

by R. Gil Student Throughout history, epidemics have caused death and disruption in varying scales, some massive but most local. Why do they happen and how should we respond? As would be expected of this not uncommon experience, the Sages of the Talmud discuss this issue. In 1576, Rav Moshe of Trani (Mabit) in Israel published his philosophical work Beis ...

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New Ancient Perspectives on Exodus

by R. Gil Student Every generation sees the Bible in general, and the weekly Torah reading in particular, as a reflection of their own circumstances. This attitude enables the sacred text to constitute a living Torah, a guide to our own circumstances, challenges and opportunities. Too often, people forget that these are real stories that happened to real people thousands ...

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Faith’s Middle Path

by R. Gil Student Title: Judaism Reclaimed: Philosophy and Theology in the Torah Author: Rabbi Shmuel Phillips Publisher: Mosaica Press Almost immediately upon publication, Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim yielded contradictory interpretations. Some readers, including the book’s Hebrew translator R. Shmuel Ibn Tibbon, see in Moreh Nevuchim a subversive text, a book of radical philosophy hidden underneath a Torah mask. Others, including ...

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Yosef, Slavery and Morality

by R. Gil Student Sometimes we struggle to understand specific laws or passages that do not seem to fit into the Torah’s overall picture of harmony, community and connection with God. One such issue is that of slavery, which the Torah permits and legislates. The moral approach that seems most true to me, most consistent with Torah and history, is ...

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