The Oldest Profession, In the Days Of Old

In my recent talk on repentance and the struggle against temptation, I cited a stanza from one of my favorite selihos, Rav Binyamin b. Zerah’s הורית דרך תשובה (which we recited this morning [צום גדליה]): מחלל יצועי יולדו אשר פחז כמים. נטיו רגליו כמעט לולי שפך לב כמים. סרח גור אריה בקדשה היא בעינים. עונו …

Sin and Its Consequences

We have seen the midrashic criticism of Jacob’s insensitivity in his harsh response to Rachel’s desperate demand for him to provide her with children, and its declaration of the consequences for his descendants. This is quite reminiscent of Ramban’s celebrated, provocative indictment of Sarah’s oppression of Hagar, and Abraham’s tacit complicity therein, and his assertion …