Monday, November 24, 2014
Rabbi Aryeh Klapper is one of my favorite people in the entire Jewish world. He combines a subversive sense of humor with scholarship and a deep commitment to the halakhic process. While Rabbi Klapper lives in Boston, I think he really needs to form an alliance with Rabbi Yonah Bookstein here in Los Angeles to either reform Orthodoxy or to blow it apart trying. About a decade ago, I spent the summer studying with Rabbi Klapper in his Beis Midrash Program. As an alumnus of the program, I was asked a few months ago to write a d'var Torah for its blog. Having a few months to write something meant that I was scratching my head what to say with the clock ticking down on me. Here is my post. For better or worse it had to be cut down for length and snark. Did God develop a temporary hankering for "crispy human flesh?" The piece plays on one of the central themes of my original dissertation project on Jewish messianism, being on the wrong side of history. My challenge to readers is whether Jacob managed to be the one really successful patriarch precisely by seeming to fail at everything?