Of Rabbinic Wills and Halachic Ways

In the course of my study of the various reasons proposed for the Biblical prohibition of ריבית, I encountered this famous (or notorious) passage in the תורה תמימה: והנה דבר ידוע הוא, שבדורות האחרונים המציאו היתר הלואה ברבית בהיתר עיסקא שנבאר ענינו בסמוך, ולכאורה דבר פלא הוא שלא מצינו כל רמז קל בתורה להמצאת היתר […]

Theft and Thaumaturgy II

The previous post in this series discussed the idea that Rachel stole Lavan’s תרפים in order to prevent them from informing Lavan of her family’s flight; this post discusses the other main traditional explanation of her theft, that the תרפים were idols worshipped by Lavan, and Rachel stole them to wean him from idolatry. בראשית […]

Theft and Thaumaturgy I

After breakfast was over, the ogre called out, “Wife, wife, bring me my golden harp.” So she brought it and put it on the table before him. Then he said, “Sing!” and the golden harp sang most beautifully. And it went on singing till the ogre fell asleep, and commenced to snore like thunder. Then […]