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

Jerusalem

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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. 

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GENESIS — 1:27 male/female

Although [this verse] could be read to mean that G-d created humankind to be both male and female from the beginning, the Rabbis, reading the number and gender of the nouns and pronouns literally, suggest that G-d first created one person who was androgynous.  The second chapter of Genesis, however, asserts that G-d first created a male human being from the dust, and then created a female from the man’s side in order to be his helpmate.  This second account, and the Garden of Eden story that follow in chapter three, assert that man is first in the order of Creation and is designed/meant to reign over woman.  So even the opening chapters of Genesis give us conflicting understandings of human gender and of the proper relationship.  DORBOD xiv-xv
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GENESIS — 3:19 bury

Something over which we have complete ownership implies that it is something over which we have complete control. …this is something that everyone knows is not completely true when it comes to the body. … Whether or not one actually believes that the body is a gift from G-d is in truth irrelevant.  Perhaps more truthful is the notion from [this verse], “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” The bottom line, regardless of which one seems more plausible is that our bodies are not wholly ours; they are in in a very real sense, on loan.  DORBOD 40-1
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GENESIS — 9:5 reckoning

Given the Judaic belief in Creation, and that the Torah is the expression of G-d’s will, the rights one has to one’s own body are dictated by the Torah and, in Orthodox Judaism, by halakhah, the body of laws developed by Torah scholars throughout Jewish history, including the Talmud, the Shulchan Arukh (codified laws), and responsa.  The scriptural source for rules on the care of one’s body is [this verse] “Your blood, which belongs to your souls, I will demand.” Although this appears to prohibit suicide, the Talmud (Baba Kamma 90b) extends this to self-injury, also referring to the verses that consider a Nazirite to be sinful because he has inflicted deprivation (of wine) on himself.  DORBOD 30
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GENESIS — 32:11 unworthy

R. Yannai said: “A man should never stand in a place of danger in the expectation that a miracle will be wrought in his behalf.   Perhaps it will not be wrought, or if it is wrought, his merits will be diminished as a result.”  What is the proof? R. Hanin’s interpretation of [this verse] as meaning that Jacob said to the Holy One: “I fear that because of the miracle You will perform for me, You will diminish my merits, so that, as a result of all the kindnesses so steadfastly shown me, I will come to be deemed quite unworthy.” DORBOD 23
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GENESIS — 37:17 said

It is hard to predict what influences we will have on [others’] lives.   Recall the man Joseph encountered when he was searching for his brothers.  The man told Joseph where to find his brothers, information that led to Joseph’s sale into slavery.  Without this anonymous messenger, Jewish history would be very different.   The rabbis say this man was a malakh.   However the Hebrew word malakh is ambiguous.  It means “angel” and also “human messenger.”   Being in the right place at the right time can allow us to be messengers of G-d without even realizing it.  I believe that we are all malakhim at times in our lives.   And, like Joseph’s malakh, we do not always know the significance of our actions.  DORBOD 91
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GENESIS — 44:18 please

Many [medical] patients ask for medication seeking perfect lives, free of physical or mental pain or blemishes.  Is this appropriate? Is there a value in suffering?   In general, Judaism does not extol the virtues of suffering.   However, in the stories of the patriarchs we certainly see examples of emotional growth that comes through hardship and pain, grief or disappointment.  Perhaps the clearest example is Judah.  His emotional growth following the death of two sons prepared him to speak eloquently and soulfully to Joseph as he pleaded for the release of his brother Benjamin.   Pain leads to growth.   DORBOD 88
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