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 …

The Fiduciary Responsibilities Of Shepherds

We recently read Ya’akov’s infuriated protestation of his honesty during his service to Lavan: ויחר ליעקב וירב בלבן ויען יעקב ויאמר ללבן … הייתי ביום אכלני חרב וקרח בלילה ותדד שנתי מעיני1 Is a shepherd actually Halachically obligated in this level of diligence? Rav Ahai Gaon does indeed derive from this passage that he is, …

The Needs Of The Many And The Needs Of The One

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. The actual context in which this was uttered involved self-sacrifice, not the compulsory harm of the few or the one on behalf of the many, and by one who would have died anyway, had he not given his life on behalf …