Meshech Chochmah

Growing and Not Growing Into Our Roles in History

by R. Gidon Rothstein The Crowns of Judaism One of the subtexts of Parshat Va-Yetzei is Leah’s continuing search for a sense of Ya’akov’s love. Although he does not directly address it, Meshech Hochmah’s comment on 30;20 gives his sense of what Leah thought would secure her husband’s permanent affection and/or admiration. After Zevulun is born, she says Gd has ...

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Israel Given Easily, Israel Earned With Hardship

by R. Gidon Rothstein Meshech Hochmah: Israel Given Easily, Israel Earned With Hardship The Necessity of Sacrifice in Service of Gd Gd appears to Yitzhak twice in Bereshit 26, and Yitzhak builds an altar only after the second time, in verse twenty-five. Meshech Hochmah comments in consecutive verses, in ways at a bit of odds with each other about this altar. In verse twenty-four, ...

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Halachic Elements of Buying Me’arat Ha-Machpelah and Betrothing Rivkah to Yitzhak

by R. Gidon Rothstein Meshech Hochmah: Halachic Elements of Buying Me’arat Ha-Machpelah and Betrothing Rivkah to Yitzhak The opening vignette of the parsha has Avraham seek a burial plot for Sarah. Fruitful negotiations have him purchase Me’arat Ha-Machpelah from Efron, an idea the Torah repeats. Verse 23;17 says the field of Efron was established as Avraham’s property, then verse 20 says the field and cave were fixed ...

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Dealing with People Who Don’t Serve Gd

by R. Gidon Rothstein Meshech Hochmah to Lech Lecha: Dealing with People Who Don’t Serve Gd Lot Doesn’t Notice Avraham Outgrow Him Meshech Hochmah notices a progressive change in how verses refer to Lot’s relationship to Avraham. At the beginning of the parsha, 12;4, when Avraham leaves Haran at Gd’s command, the verse says va-yelech ito Lot, Lot went with him, and brings up Lot ...

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What People Can and Cannot Accomplish

by R. Gidon Rothstein Meshech Hochmah to Noah: What People Can and Cannot Accomplish The Excellence Appropriate to Each Generation Meshech Hochmah picks up on the way the Torah describes Noah, 6;9, as tzaddik tamim be-dorotav. That last word is plural, his generations, because Noah lived both before and after the Flood. More than different time periods, for Meshech Hochmah they were different types of time periods (he ...

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Three Comments of Meshech Hochmah on Parashat Bereshit

by R. Gidon Rothstein Introducing the Project New year, new commentator to sample (for newcomers, in previous years, we looked at Rashi, Ramban, Onkelos, and then common themes of all three): the Meshech Hochmah of R. Meir Simhah of Dvinsk. I have always thought of him in terms of a comment I heard from my teacher, R. Dr. Haym Soloveitchik, many years ago. Dr. ...

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