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KMTT - the Torah Podcast

Jan 13, 2022

Beshalach | From Marah to Masah, by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

The brief interlude at Marah, immediately following Shirat haYam, includes two challenging phrases - שם שם לו חק ומשפט and ושם נסהו. After surveying the classic commentaries - including the famous passage in the Mekhilta - explaining these...

Jan 6, 2022

Bo | "What Is This Service...To You?" Reevaluating the "Wicked Son's" Question, by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

The famous interaction between a son and his father (Shemot 12:25-26) is interpreted in the Midrash Halakhah (and, subsequently, in the Hagadah) as a hostile one, with the son's "question" viewed as a confrontational...

Dec 30, 2021

Vaera | Brotherhood at Last, by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

The opening section of Parashat Vaera includes several seemingly tangential and/or redundant passages, including a re-assignment of Aharon as Moshe's "prophet" as well as the odd genealogical table of the Levites. By looking carefully at the step-by-step inauguration...

Dec 23, 2021

Shemot | The Roots of Subjugation, by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

The opening chapter of Shemot details the oppression, mandated infanticide and overall enslavement of Bnei Yisrael under the thumb of Egyptian rule. After a brief introduction in which we discuss the nature and causality and its inherent multi-layered reality,...

Dec 16, 2021

Vayechi | Menasheh and Ephraim: More Than Just a Hand-Switch, by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom. 

The description of Yaakov's deathbed blessing of Yosef/Ephraim-Menasheh is riddled with difficulties. Why does Yaakov mention God's blessing at Beit-El? Why does he bring up Rachel's sudden death and burial on the road? Why doesn't...