The United States Supreme Court decides whether laws conform or do not conform to the U.S. Constitution. Similarly, the ancient sages decided and interpreted halacha, Jewish law, based on the written Torah and the Oral Law, Mesora, as passed down from generation to generation.
Parents frequently use dessert in the negotiations to get their children to eat or behave at the table. But the question remains, is dessert a natural part of the meal?
The great military villains have usually been brilliant, determined and, it is often suggested, megalomanic. In which case they are very much the spiritual descendants of Nimrod.
The official language of Israel is Hebrew, but until the end of the 19th century almost no one spoke Hebrew colloquially. Lashon Hakodesh, the holy tongue, was used only for prayer and study.
It would seem to make common sense that honoring one’s spouse is an essential part of any marriage relationship, and yet, the sages go out of their way to remind husbands of the importance of honoring their wives: “Rabbi Chelbo said: One must always observe the honor due to his wife, because blessings rest on a man’s home only on account of his wife, as it says (Genesis 12:13) ‘Abraham was enriched because of her [Sarah]’…” (Baba Metzia 59a) and “A man must love his wife as much as he [loves] himself, and honor her more than himself” (Yevamot 62b).
Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon are, without question, the most famous monarchs in Spanish history. They were the sponsors of Christopher Columbus’ famous journey (although they are villains in Jewish history, having brought the Inquisition to Spain and having expelled all the Jews).
As beautiful as Shabbat is, it was not God’s intention that humankind live in a constant state of Shabbat. Indeed, it has been understood that because the Torah says, “Six days you shall work and on the seventh day you shall rest,” that it is actually a mitzvah to do creative work on the non-Sabbath days. Additionally, there are numerous mitzvot which one may not perform on the Sabbath.
Few people in Jewish history understood the “wheel of fortune*” as well as Don Isaac Abrabanel (Lisbon, 1437 – Venice, 1508).
Our Rabbis taught (Chagigah 14b): Four men entered the ‘orchard’ (pardes, a metaphor for Heaven), namely, Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and Rabbi Akiva.
Mythological creatures are generally shrugged off today as figments of overactive imaginations. Nevertheless, a fair number of these fantasy creatures are noted by the sages of the Talmud.