The Passover Seder of Mottke the Coachman By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

In 1797, the richest and most ornate of Chasidic rebbes was born: Rebbe Yisroel of Rizhin, known as the Rizhiner. Unlike other rebbes, who lived in outright poverty, he loved wealth and to be surrounded by beautiful objects. His Chasidim, who were mostly poor, did their best to satisfy his wants, since the Rizhiner claimed direct descent from King David, and believed that he ought to imitate the lifestyle of his notable ancestor—not in personal behavior, but in his surroundings.

Vaera by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Synopsis: Moses and Aaron confront Pharaoh—which one? Ramsses II, Thutmose III, perhaps even Hatshepsut, the Woman Pharaoh—the actual identity is not important to the Torah Narrative, which never gives more details than are considered necessary to tell the Story. The Theme is Clash of the Titans, in this case between Adon-i, God of the Israelites, vs. Pharaoh, god of the Egyptians. Here are some of the Actors, both Major and Minor:

Shemot by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Let me tell You the whole story, God of my fathers—though I am certain that You know it all, for You have read my mind about this, and You see all that happens on this earth, from Your abode in the skies, and You laugh at us: You hold us in derision, as my father, Amram, used to tell me, before the Pharaoh’s police came, to arrest him for working for our freedom, and he had to run away, and was never seen again….

Around the Shabbat Table on 03/31/2014

A short observance of Shabbat followed by an online discussion. The week’s topic: The science that could prove the plagues in Exodus were possible.

Torah Talk on 01/20/14 – Mishpatim – Exodus 21-24

Torah discussion with Chanah – this weeks portion is Mishpatim – laws that were given to the Jews. Exodus 21-24

Torah Talk – Parsha Beshalach

This weeks Parsha talk with Chanah – this week is Parsha Beshalach, Exodus 13:17 – 17:16

The Salad Days of Moses: Parsha Shemote

​I like Moses a lot. I commiserate with him: how can one be “the humblest of men” but at the same time, lead a people so fractious, argumentative, and independent-minded as us Jews? And yet, that was his life’s mission: self-destructively workaholic, misogynistic more than often, and not much of a father (his two sons are mere names, […]

Book Review: Riddle of the Exodus

Riddle of the Exodus Author: James D. Long Publisher: Lightcatcher Books Year: 2006 Pages: 160 plus Introduction and Appendices   Riddle of the Exodus explores the “startling parallels between ancient Jewish sources and the Egyptian archaeological record” regarding the exodus from Egypt of the Hebrews. James D. Long begins this book by looking at the […]

Was Moses That Great? Connecting Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers with Parsha Shemot (Class Notes)

Parshah Shemot: What Makes Moses So Special, Anyway? Prepared by Patrick Aleph – [email protected]  – There has never since arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face (Deut. 34:10 – JPS 1918, translated by Patrick) If Moses were running for president, would you vote for him? Murderer: He […]