Social Links Search User Login Menu
Tools
Close
Close

"For Instruction shall come forth from Zion, The word of the L-rd from Jerusalem." -- Isaiah 2:3

Jerusalem

Navigate the Excerpts Browser

Before accessing the excerpts, please review a word about copyright.

Are you more of an "I'll dive right in and figure it out" person, or a "Show Me How This Thing Works" person?  If the former, go right ahead and try the excerpts browers on the right side of this page and/or scroll through the excerpts that start below the following information -- although we still suggest reading the information first.  If you are the latter, click here for a video demonstrating the Excerpts Browser. Either way (or both), enjoy! 

This page is recommended for searches limited to specific Torah books, weekly portions (parshiot), chapters, verses, and/or sources (authors). For keyword and/or for exact phrase (including verse and source) searches of the entire excerpts database, we recommend using the Search Engine page.  For broadest results, use both pages and alternative search strategies. 

This page displays the full text of all or "sorted" (filtered) excerpts in the database.  Use the "Torah Verses" and/or "Excerpt Sources" browsers at the right to locate the excerpts associated with your desired Torah book, portion, chapter. verse, or author.  Or, simply scroll through the excerpts, using the "boxes" at the bottom of any page displaying excerpts to "jump" ahead or back. 

Also note that immediately below the chapter, verse, and keyword of each excerpt is a highlighted line comprised of multiple links.  Clicking on any of the links will limit (filter) the excerpts display to the selected category.  

Transcription of excerpts is incomplete.  For current status, please see "Transcribed Sources" on the Search Engine page.  To assist with completion, please see "Contributors" page. 

GENESIS — 1:25 good 

The nature of animals differs from that of man.  That of animals (i.e. instincts and tendencies) is fully formed at birth.  Hence, G-d was able to immediately judge that their creation was good.  Humans, though born with great potential, may, after many years, turn out, to be good or not good, to perfect or to destroy. Hence, in contrast to animals, G-d did not pronounce man’s creation “good.”  See also Genesis 1:31. AMJV 96
VIEW EXCERPT DETAILS

GENESIS — 1:26 image 

There is a piece of G-d, as it were, inside every human being.  This makes man special as a species and makes each person a special, unique, and important individual.  The G-dliness inside every person gives him or her enormous value as, according to the Talmud, each person has incalculable worth, regardless of his or her identity or level of intelligence and accomplishment, since a single individual has the value of an entire world. Sanhedrin 37a.  This general awareness and knowledge should help every person think better of himself or herself.  Each individual is so special that he or she is just a little lower than the angels. Psalm 8:5-6.  But just one verse before this, man is described as “nothing.”  The Midrash Vayikra Rabbah 14a explains that when people have either a low or proper level of self-esteem, they should know that they have achieved a status so high that only angels are higher.  But if a person has excessive self-esteem and as a result thinks too highly of himself, G-d tells this person not to “think you are so great,” since G-d created the mosquito first.  AMJV 291
VIEW EXCERPT DETAILS

GENESIS — 1:27 image

Even a sinner who is a Jewish leader must be accorded the minimum level of human dignity and may not be shunned by the community.  Every human being retains a part of G-d inside of him or her and thus must be accorded basic human dignity and honor.  However, when it comes to Jewish leaders, there is one caveat.  The Code of Jewish Law states that if a leader or Rabbi retains his evil ways, then this person must be shunned by the Jewish community, even though his talents may be desperately needed by the community. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 246:8 Thus, Judaism does not separate between one’s moral values and actions, and the ability to perform one’s duties admirably.  Until a person has admitted his sin and has returned to the proper path, the community may and should ignore the person.  But once this change has occurred, this leader must be accorded the minimum honor and dignity, and as with any sinner, may not be reminded of his checkered past.  Baba Metzia 58b   AMJV 308
VIEW EXCERPT DETAILS

GENESIS — 1:27 image

Many have understood the g-dliness in man’s ability to create in the world, just as G-d creates in the world.  It is that ability to do something new that makes man G-dly, unlike any other creature created by G-d.  This concept seems to encourage all types of creativity by man, including all scientific breakthroughs such as cloning.  AMJV 54
VIEW EXCERPT DETAILS

GENESIS — 1:28 fertile

Although a very noble goal, would Judaism permit a woman to get pregnant in order to cure her husband’s Parkinson’s disease by aborting ad inserting the stem cells of the fetus into his brain? In addition to the obligation [to be fruitful and multiply], Isaiah also mentions that the general purpose of Creation is to populate the earth. Isaiah 45:18 Therefore, the only “permission” to go through the painful (and sometimes life threatening) process of pregnancy is for the sole purpose of populating the world – i.e., having children.  If that is not the purpose of the pregnancy, then such an act would never be permitted in the first place.  Thus Rabbi Moses Feinstein even forbids marital relations, and all the more so pregnancy, if not for the express purpose and possibility of having children. Responsa Igrot Moshe, Even Ha’ezer 1:71 In several other response, Rabbi Feinstein gives other reasons to forbid what the couple was trying to do to cure the husband’s disease.  In one place he says that every abortion is considered murder.  Responsa Igrot Moshe, Chosen Mishpat 2:69  However, this murder or abortion is sanctioned and permitted only when the mother’s life is at stake.  But in any other circumstance, such as our dilemma, it would be forbidden to abort because it is considered murder.  Rabbi Feinstein also writes that since every birth and every abortion put a woman in a possible life-threatening situation, it is even forbidden to intentionally move up the birth date (unless medially mandated), because the only reason to allow the woman to enter into this life-threatening situation in the first place is to give birth, and only if it comes naturally.  But to force it (or perform an abortion, which subjects the woman to similar risks) is forbidden. Responsa Igrot Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 2:74  He also says that even an abortion within the first forty days, which is permitted by some authorities, is forbidden. (Responsa Igrot Moshe, Chosen Mishpat 2:69)  htat5 ruling would certainly forbid abortion in our dilemma (where the husband’s life is not directly threatened), which takes place well after forty days.  AMJV 87
VIEW EXCERPT DETAILS

GENESIS — 1:28 fertile

The commentaries on the Talmudic passage Nedarim 51a say that by abandoning heterosexual relations, the person is straying from one of his prime goals in life – to procreate and populate the earth. This Talmudic explanation does not seem to reflect the “abhorrence” that the word “To’avia” implies in the simply meaning that is understood by most regarding the Jewish view of homosexuality.  Thus, the Talmudic explanation of why homosexuality is prohibited in the Torah is because of “straying,” i.e. failure to populate the earth.  Sefer HaChinuch, Mitzvah 209 explains that any “wasting of seed” on homosexual relations is preventing procreation and inhabiting the earth, the prime directive of man.  This “prime directive” is echoes by Isaiah in describing the purpose of creation – for the world “to be inhabited.” Isaiah 45:18.  If this explanation does not point to the “abhorrence” of the homosexual relationship, but rather to the violation of man’s purpose o earth and of core Torah values, then this new understanding is the true reason for the prohibition of homosexuality.  AMJV 139
VIEW EXCERPT DETAILS
RSS
134567891011121314151617181920Last

Torah Verses

Excerpt Sources

Complete List of Source Books
Back To Top