Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

Shadal

Why the Torah Prohibits Incest

Although incest taboos are found in the majority of cultures, medieval Jewish thinkers found this to be an insufficient explanation for the Torah’s prohibitions. 

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

,

,

The Mitzvah to Love God: Shadal's Polemic against the Philosophical Interpretation

Philosophically inclined rabbis, such as Maimonides, attempted to understand the mitzvah to love God in Aristotelian terms, imagining God as a non-anthropomorphic abstract being. Shadal argues that this elitist approach twists both Torah and philosophy, and in its place, he offers a moralistic approach that can be achieved by all Jews.

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

,

,

The Death of Pharaoh's Firstborn: A One Plague Exodus

After commissioning Moses at the burning bush, God commissions Moses again in Midian, and then again on his way to Egypt. In this third commission, God instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh, “Let My son go, that he may worship Me, yet you refuse to let him go. Now I will slay your firstborn son” (Exod 4:22-23). How does this narrative fit into the exodus story?

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

,

,

Eglah Arufah: A Ritual Response to an Unsolved Murder

The law of the eglah arufah (the heifer whose neck is broken) has puzzled both traditional and modern commentators. What is it meant to accomplish? How does it work?

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

,

,

Peshat vs. Halakha Dilemma: Shadal and Tradition

Correctly Construing Biblical Verses Upon which Halakhot Claim to be Based

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

,

,

The Prohibition of Shaving in the Torah and Halacha

The Torah prohibits a mourning ritual called tonsuring, i.e., the pulling out or cutting of hair to express sorrow. Rabbinic interpretation understood these verses as a prohibition for men to shave their beards or temples with a razor. Ibn Ezra, however, uncharacteristically rejects the rabbinic interpretation of these verses, and Shadal, who accepts ibn Ezra's reading, goes as far as to say that he himself shaves with a razor.

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

,

,

Whom May a Kohen Gadol Marry?

Rashbam’s New Peshat

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

,

,