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History » Patriarchs, 12 Tribes | Subscribe | What is RSS?

How were the tribes permitted to marry their sisters?

It is disputable whether the 12 tribes indeed married their sisters. Genesis1 makes reference to Jacob's daughters (in the plural form), however, the...

Kabbalah: The Inside Story

Rabbi Shimon began: Woe are they whose hearts are stuffed and whose eyes are closed! So many secrets are hidden in the  Torah, and they pay no...

Who were the Twelve Tribes?

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the Jewish Patriarchs. Jacob, the last of the Patriarchs, had four wives -- Leah, and her maidservant Zilpah; Rachel and her...

Why are Jacobs second two wives, Zilpah and Bilhah, not considered among the Matriarchs?

In numerous places in the Oral Torah and even our daily liturgy, the essential, archetypal, ancestors of the Jewish nation are enumerated—the Three...

What is the kabbalistic significance of the three Patriarchs?

Before we start speaking directly about the patriarchs, a short introduction to basic kabbalistic concepts is in order. According to the kabbalistic model...

Do we teach young children about the Binding of Issac?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind? Karen: I want to teach my 5 and 4 year olds the story of Abraham....

Who was the first Jew to be ritually circumcised?

Circumcision was the first commandment given by G-d to Abraham, the first Jew, and is central to Judaism. Abraham, the father of the Jewish People, had...

Feeling Stuck?

Philosophers have long struggled with the great question of our freedom of choice on the one hand and our belief in a higher destiny on the other. Is life...

Rachel’s Amazing Secret

“As for me, [Jacob], when I came from Padan, Rachel died to me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still a stretch of land to come to...

What is the justification for Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt?

Indeed, an ignominious death hardly seems to be a proportional punishment for turning around. However, we must remember that at issue isn’t whether...