The biblical man did not fear an ox, though the Torah notes this week that an ox might gore a human to death. And whilst the Torah requires the execution by stoning of a man-killer oxen, it similarly decrees the same verdict for a human who murdered his fellowman.
In this weekly (monumental) Torah portion Yitro (Jethro) God reminds the people how He (metaphorically) borne it ‘’on the wings of eagles and brought you to Me’’. What is in the eagle (nesher in the Hebrew) that is so admirable, so God resembles His carrying the people in the wilderness like the eagle carries its eaglets on its back?
The dog makes its actual entrance into the Hebrew Bible in Parashat Bo when Moses informs the Pharaoh about the imminent Tenth plague that would devastate ‘’all the land of Egypt’’ and bring about ‘’a loud cry in’’ every Egyptian household.
What is the connection between Amalek’s inveterate hatred of the people Israel, from its first assault on Israel’s stragglers right after the Exodus, and through Haman’s genocidal plot in Persia that was foiled by Queen Esther, and the deep concerns today among American Jews about possible changes in the sensitive status quo regarding conversion to Judaism that the new Israel Government might enact, and our weekly Torah portion that concludes the Book of Genesis?
Ancient Egypt’s staple food, which is constantly featured on the main stage in this weekly Torah portion, Miketz, was essentially plant-based, or vegetarian. It is no wonder, therefore, why the Pharaoh went right to sleep after he first woke up following his first dream...
Reuben's lamentation, then, at seeing the empty pit without any clue for Joseph's whereabouts: ''The boy is gone, and I, where can I turn?'' might just as well be a call not to let the child in us leave us later on in life.
Given the scriptural evidence cited above it seems reasonable to infer that associating the dwelling in booths of the Israelites during their long journey through the Sinai desert was rather a late development that was projected retrospectively on the days of Sinai.
Selfishness is a major wall between a person and God; when a person goes – especially when s/he would rather not -- to a place where there is sadness in order to express sympathy, or when s/he goes to another place where there is joy in order to rejoice with them, one defies selfishness and gain more proximity to the presence of God.