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The Veromemanu Foundation is dedicated to spreading the Divine depth and sublimity of Biblical Hebrew as taught by the Jewish sages. 

Recent Articles

Vayeitzei: The Unique Flock ~ The Wonders of the Holy Tongue

Our Parashah, Vayeitzei, focuses in the main on the life of Jacob our father, a shepherd by profession. Jacob was not the first of the shepherds in the Pentateuch; indeed, many of the Biblical personalities practiced this vocation, starting from Abel to Abraham and including Moshe Rabbeinu himself. Given this fact, the exclusive word for a flock of sheep in Hebrew, עדר, would have been expected to be found dozens or hundreds of times in the Chumash. However, the word עדר actually appears a total of only 11 times, and all of us in our Parashah and in the next week’s portion, Vayishalach – both of which center on the life and times of Jacob and his sons – a phenomenon requiring explanation .
In this article, we examine the four disparate meanings derivatives of the root עדר and suggest a relationship between them. We also look at all the words containing the letters דר and suggest a common denominator between them. And in the end, we propose a link between the common meaning of all of these words to Jacob’s personality and life, and why the Jewish people bears his name, and not of his progenitors. Shabbat Shalom!

Toldot: Heal, Esau! ~ Yehoshua Steinberg

The battle between Esau and Jacob, first introduced in Parashat Toldot, is far beyond sibling rivalry or a personal struggle – it basically encapsulates two completely different worldviews.

This week’s article focuses on the root of the name Jacob, עקב, which appears in our Parashah three times with three different meanings: a) Because / due to. B) circumvention, crookedness. C) The back of the foot. In this article, we attempt to find the common denominator for these apparently unconnected imports, and the deep connection between this word and the brothers’ ungoing underlying struggle that accompanies Jewish and world history.

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