By Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein
Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk’s (1843–1926) work quickly became a modern staple of students of Chumash. After Ohr Someach, his work on Rambam, Meshech Chochmah is his most famous accomplishment.
Meshech Chochmah endeared itself to the Torah public for two reasons. Firstly, it not only displays breathtaking grasp of what we would regard on a practical level as the entirety of Torah (Tanach, Bavli, Yerushalmi, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, Zohar), but effortlessly weaves together these sources, bringing far-flung citations to illuminate a given verse. In doing so, he integrates the Oral Law with the Written, showing the power of treating them as they should – as a single entity.
Secondly, Meshech Chochmah shows enormous creativity, and a mind given to deep hashkafic inquiry.
Each week we will present an adaptation of some selection from Meshech Chochmah on the Parshah. As was true with previous series, it is my hope that readers will become interested enough to make the journey back to the original.
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- Noach An Undemanding and Reasonable Torah
- Lech Lecha Seeing G-d
- Vayera Torah For Titans
- Chayei Sarah Editorial Discretion
- Toldos Unstating The Obvious
- Vayeitzei Second Thoughts
- Vayishlach Boundary Conditions
- Vayeishev Split-Level Miracles
- Miketz Divine (Almost) Justice
- Vayigash In the Darkness of the Night
- Vayechi Lethal Davening
- Shemos Moshe Had No Choice
- Vaera The Four Cups
- Bo Jewish Ideas Matter
- Beshalach Answering the Sea’s Anger
- Yisro How Kedushah is Born
- Mishpatim Religious Coercion
- Terumah Supporting the Aron
- Tetzaveh Proportional Lights
- Undivining Moshe
- Vayakhel-Pekudei Taking a Back Seat to the Mishkan
- Vayakhel-Pekudei Who Needs The Ketores?
- Vayikra Torah By The Dawn’s Early Light
- Tzav Priestly Garments and Yom Kippur
- Shemini Kiddush Hashem 2.0
- Tazria-Metzorah The Kohanic Vaccine
- Having Skin in the Game
- Acharei Mos-Kedoshim It’s Not Just The Eigel
- Acharei Mos-Kedoshim Love in Three Parts
- Emor The Torah Ties That Bind
- Behar-Bechukosai This Land Is Your Land
- Behar-Bechukosai The Most Miraculous is the Ordinary
- Bamidbar Accessory Mode
- Naso Objectively Speaking
- Behaaloscha Longing For Longing
- Shlach All Wound Up In Holiness
- Korach Born To Be Different
- Chukas-Balak Rocky Road
- Chukas-Balak Internal Affairs
- Pinchas Remembrance of Things Past
- Matos-Masei What’s In Charge?
- Devarim Mixing In the Bad
- Vaeschanan Evening Up the Score
- Eikev Getting One’s Fill
- Reeh Why Torah Works Better
- Shoftim Inorganic Divine Chemistry
- Ki Seitzei Loose Lips Sink Chariots
- Ki Savo Artificial Living
- Netzavim-Vayeilech The Ties That Bind
- Netzavim-Vayeilech Breaking Open the Kohanim’s Bank Vault
- Haazinu No Magic Kingdom