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 […]

Ensuring That Good Deeds Go Unpunished

Rabbi Mark Dratch writes: Moral development theorist Lawrence Kohlberg presented the following dilemma in order to measure the sophistication of a person’s moral thinking: In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that […]

The Kolomean Candlesticks

For C.S. Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein relates a tale of Rav Hillel Lichtenstein of Kolomyia (Kolomea), in which we see another side of the “outspoken leader of the Orthodox extremists in Hungary”: כדאי לוותר על פמוטות יקרים כדי להציל נשמה תועה גאון אדיר היה רבי הלל מקולומאי, והתמדתו בתורה היתה לשם דבר גם בדור ההוא, דורם […]