Introduction to Three Essays

The tantalizing Biblical account of the  Tree of Knowledge  may very well be about Man’s ability to discern the difference between Good and Evil.  What if the Biblical command is a denial of Man’s ability and privilege to set standards of behaviour? The philosophers of the Eighteenth Century Enlightenment posited that Man has the ability  to set his own standards. Men can rely on their moral sense.  However, […]


 Now consider Tefillin: Judaism by definition is historical. The story begins with Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov and then continues with Yaakov’s children, describing their descent into Egypt. It is not reasonable to think that the Galut, the Diaspora in Egypt would not affect the  lives of Yaakov’s descendants in Egypt.  It is also apparent that Moshe, Aharon, and the Elders who attended court visits to the  Pharaoh saw […]

The Tanur shel Akhnai: A tale of two methods

  July 18, 2016 by Yael Shahar 0 Comments This essay came out of a discussion on the Online Havruta Talmud Study Group. I would like to thank participants Claire Benneth, Kenneth Chan, Abraham Khan, and Karla Worrell for insights that shaped the discussion. One of the most quoted Talmudic stories is the story of the Tanur shel Akhnai—the “oven of Akhnai”. The story tells of a debate […]

Parkoff Letters Table Of Contents

Parkoff Letters Table Of Contents Column 1 Column 2 A Time to Laugh Music and the Brain About Our Logo Musical Interlude Artificial Intelligence Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks COMPLEXITY Rules and Systems Conceptual Systems and Logical Analysis Technology, Science and Psychology Ecology and BioDiversity TED TALKS Economics and Law Tefillin and The Egyptian Experience English The Human Mind and Learning English and American Law The Internet and Linked […]

The Two Eyes of Horus

Take the Two Eyes of Horus…to your forehead “Take the two Eyes of Horus, the black and the white. Take them to your forehead, (so) that they may illuminate your face.” gp: This inscription comes from the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, translated by Breasted, Faulkner, and Gardiner and  and other eminent Egyptologists. It is haunting and stunning to those learned in the Torah.  Please click on the following […]

Rabbi Hayyim Hirschensohn –

  Rabbi Hayyim Hirschensohn – The Forgotten Sage Who Was Rediscovered Dr. David Zohar, a clinical psychologist from Tel Aviv, Israel, founded a project to republish an updated version of Rabbi Hayyim Hirschensohn’s writings. The objective is to bring these works to the public’s knowledge, as they can offer a modern religious Jew ways in which one can combine modern values together with Jewish Values. This new version […]

Confronting Violence – Notes

Printing Press Religion – Reformation Religious Wars 100 years –   France  1562 – 1598 and  30 years war. 1648 Treaty of Westphalia 21st century – information  technology revolution – globalization of communications, empowerment of crowds by social media  overthrow of established authority and arab spring – proliferation of wars – end of Westphalian Order (Kissinger) War of the Faithful against everyone else Dualism – us and them […]

Declare Liberty Throughout the Land

(י) וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם אֵת שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ לְכָל יֹשְׁבֶיהָ יוֹבֵל הִוא תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם וְשַׁבְתֶּם אִישׁ אֶל אֲחֻזָּתוֹ וְאִישׁ אֶל מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ תָּשֻׁבוּ:  ( ויקרא פרק כה) You shall sanctify the fiftieth year and declare liberty throughout the land to all of its inhabitants. This will be a Jubilee to you and each man shall return to his inheritance and each man to his family  to dwell with. […]


“Take any action allowed to be vicious; willful murder, for instance.  Examine it in all  lights, and see if you can find that matter of fact, or real existence, which you call “vice.”  In whichever way you take it, you find only certain passions, motives, volitions, and thoughts.  There is no other matter of fact in the case… …In every system of morality which I have hitherto met […]

Parkoffletter Internet Sites

http://parkoffletter.com   An historical travel blog, where  you travel both in history and in place. It is not meant to be a Caribbean cruise but a true exploration of the past and the present. http://hardball.parkoffletter.org    American Constitutional Issues, the misuse of governmental power, and the misuse of corporate wealth.  How does misuse of power hurt a country? and how may it be repaired? http://water.parkoffletter.org   All facets of water use […]