Author Archives: Michal Kohane

A taste of olive oil for the Torah portion of Tetzave

The Torah portion of Tetzave opens with the instruction to take olive oil for the menorah’s light. Why olive oil? What is so special about the olive tree and its product? While it’s possible that this was the most commonly … Continue reading

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Building a house-tent for G-d – Parashat Teruma

A band of slaves left their servitude to be replaced with another, and the latter is not any simpler or easier: Just two weeks ago we read about the revelation at Sinai. What an event! We barely recovered from that … Continue reading

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Some details of Parashat Mishpatim & my mom

I’d like to think of myself as a “big picture person”, and at the same time, I also know it’s the small details that make that big picture. Had any one of the many dots which make this picture been … Continue reading

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“It is a Tree of Life to those who hold it”… Yitro, the 5th & Tu Bishvat

We don’t have a Torah portion named “Abraham” or “Joseph”, but we do have one named after a Midyanite priest. And no other than the reading which includes The Ten Commandments. Couldn’t we name this portion something more “Jewish”? I … Continue reading

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Bread from above, Water from below & a Tree – Shabbat Shira / Parashat Beshalach

Choice: do we have it or not? A famous midrash – for next week’s Torah reading – tells about G-d holding the mountain over the People’s heads saying, ‘accept my Torah or right here will be your graveside’. It seems … Continue reading

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Punxsutawney, Dali, Moses & Aaron – The Torah portion of “Bo”

Bill Murray, playing weatherman Phil Connors, heads to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the Groundhog Day festivities, not in the least hiding his contempt for the assignment, the small town, and the “hicks” who live there. But then, rather than making … Continue reading

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To Be Seen – the Torah Portion of Va’era

There are three sets of 10’s in our tradition: Ten Utterances with which the world was created, the Ten Plagues, and the upcoming Ten Commandments, and with each one we have to wonder: why couldn’t G-d create the world with … Continue reading

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