Sigal Samuel

Sigal Samuel

Sigal Samuel is a writer and editor at the Jewish Daily Forward. Her work has also appeared in The Daily Beast, The Rumpus, BuzzFeed, Tablet, and The Walrus, among other publications. She is the author of the novel "The Mystics of Mile End," forthcoming from HarperCollins this year. Sigal can be reached at sigal.s.samuel@gmail.com.

Shlach

When God tells Moses in Parshat Shlach, “Send for yourself men to spy out the land of Canaan,”[1] it sounds like the start of an exciting adventure. But what seems exhilarating soon becomes chilling—then downright devastating. Of the 12 men who are sent to scout the land, 10 return with a negative report: The people …Read More

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Tazria-Metzora

Parshat Tazria-Metzora lays out the biblical prescriptions regarding menstruation, a topic more steeped in critique and apology than almost any other area in Jewish law. Contemporary readers seeking to reconcile the Torah’s approach to menstruation with their own sensibilities typically run up against a few uncomfortable facts. First, the text discusses this natural bodily process …Read More

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Tazria-Metzora

Parshat Tazria-Metzora lays out the biblical prescriptions regarding menstruation, a topic more steeped in critique and apology than almost any other area in Jewish law. Contemporary readers seeking to reconcile the Torah’s approach to menstruation with their own sensibilities typically run up against a few uncomfortable facts. First, the text discusses this natural bodily process …Read More

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Vayakhel-Pekudei

As a teenager, I used to groan when it came time to read Vayakhel-Pekudei each year. Privately, I referred to this as the “interior decorating” section of the Torah, and the detailed descriptions of the mishkan bored me to no end. Who cared about the exact height, width and depth of every vessel in the …Read More

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Vayakhel-Pekudei

As a teenager, I used to groan when it came time to read Vayakhel-Pekudei each year. Privately, I referred to this as the “interior decorating” section of the Torah, and the detailed descriptions of the mishkan bored me to no end. Who cared about the exact height, width and depth of every vessel in the …Read More

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Beshalach

In the lead-up to Parshat Beshalach, ten plagues hit the Egyptians, destroying their land and decimating their population. And yet, Pharaoh stubbornly blinds himself to the suffering of his own people: the more their situation worsens, the more he hardens his heart, refusing to liberate the Israelite slaves. His frustrated advisors cannot understand his behavior, …Read More

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Vayigash

Through its description of the devastating famine in ancient Egypt, Parshat Vayigash suggests two models that can inform our response to hunger today. By this point in the biblical narrative, Joseph, Pharaoh’s trusted vizier, has been reunited with his brothers in Egypt. The rest of his family, however, is still suffering from terrible famine in …Read More

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Bereshit

If we were asked to identify the world’s most powerful movers and shakers, storytellers probably wouldn’t make it to the top of our lists. But stories wield tremendous power, shaping our perceptions of others for better or worse. In a fascinating TED Talk entitled “The Danger of a Single Story,” Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie …Read More

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