Yossi Feintuch: Jacob accepted the "non-Halachic" conversion of Shechem's men

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?

Yossi Feintuch: A call for human compassion

The Torah this week tries to show a degree of compassion to the bovine species, even within the realm of animal sacrifices.  Thus, a newly born calf must not be sacrificed before it is at least eight days young, if only to allow its mom a sense of motherhood, if not bonding, with its child. In comparison to the contemporary factory farm where the (dairy) calf is removed from its mother moments after its birth with evident days-lasting anguish to both, the Torah seems to recognize here the need of the mother bovine to nurture its child.