Purim and the Hidden Messiah

Purim—the festival of Esther—is the most light-hearted of the Jewish holidays. Perhaps that’s what leads the sages of the Talmud to ask, “Where is there an allusion to Esther in the Torah?” (Chullin 139b). They answer with a reference to Deuteronomy 31:18, where God warns Israel of exile to come: V’anochi haster asteer panai, “And… Continue reading Purim and the Hidden Messiah

Irreplaceable Israel

We’re in the middle of Elul, the sixth month, which means we’re in the middle of a prayer focus on protection and restoration for the land and people of Israel. The two prayer themes of protection and restoration or return (teshuvah in Hebrew, which also means repentance), are linked in Scripture, as in our theme… Continue reading Irreplaceable Israel

the Hineni hint

We’re in the middle of seven haftarot of consolation, seven readings from Isaiah that take us from Tisha B’Av to Rosh Hashanah. The haftarah for this week is Isaiah 51:12–52:12 and the haftarah for next week is Isaiah 54:1–10, so it’s pretty obvious that we’re going to skip right over Isaiah 53 (which begins at… Continue reading the Hineni hint