Is Love Blind?

The central narrative in parashas Hayei Sarah is the mission of Avraham’s servant to obtain a wife for Yitzhak. It is generally assumed, by midrashim, other commentaries (including Ibn Ezra, in a passing remark in parashas Yisro1), and contemporary Orthodox students of the Torah that the servant in question was Eliezer, but the servant is […]

Schuhe and Handschuhe

My weekly halachah column: In Megilas Rus (4:7), it is recorded that: “Formerly, this was done in cases of redemption and exchange transactions to validate any matter: One would draw off his shoe (na’alo), and give it to the other. This was the process of ratification in Israel.”1 While many have understood this verse as […]

The Fate of Lot’s Wife

I have long marveled at Ralbag’s provocative reinterpretation of the fate of Lot’s wife: וכאשר הוציאו [המלאכים] אותו [לוט] החוצה אמרו לו שימהר לרוץ כדי שינצל ולא יביט מאחריו כדי שלא יתעכב מהבריחה ולא יתעכב בכל הככר כי כל הככר יפסד אבל ימלט בהר הסמוך לשם כדי שלא יספה … והנה הביטה אשת לוט מאחריו […]