Marrying For Looks and Money

Almost a decade ago, we noted that at least a couple of the רודפי הפשט take for granted that Jacob fell in love with Rachel due to her beauty. I recently discovered that this assumption appears in the halachic literature as well: Rav Yaakov Reischer invokes it to infer that marrying for looks or money […]

Commentary On the Cooking Of Kids

The following verse is repeated, word for word, letter for letter, ניקוד for ניקוד, and טעם for טעם, in parashiyos Mishpatim and Ki Sisa: רֵאשִׁ֗ית בִּכּוּרֵי֙ אַדְמָ֣תְךָ֔ תָּבִ֕יא בֵּ֖ית יְקוָ֣ק אֱלֹקיךָ לֹֽא־תְבַשֵּׁ֥ל גְּדִ֖י בַּחֲלֵ֥ב אִמּֽוֹ׃ Oddly, ArtScroll’s translation of the verse varies considerably, if not necessarily substantively, between the two instances: The choicest first fruit […]

Theft and Thaumaturgy III

We have previously discussed the two traditional interpretations of Rachel’s motive in stealing Lavan’s תרפים: The תרפים were magical entities, and Rachel stole them to forestall the possibility of their informing Lavan of her family’s flight. The תרפים were idols worshipped by Lavan, and Rachel stole them to wean him from idolatry. But what about […]