Dr. Rabbi Avraham Walfish received his B.A. in philosophy from Yeshiva University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Talmudic Literature from Hebrew University, writing his dissertation on Literary Phenomena in Mishnah and their conceptual significance. He received semicha from Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, and has taught in many institutions of Jewish learning, including Drisha, Pardes, Matan, and Bar Ilan University. Currently he teaches at Herzog College in Alon Shvut, at the Hesder Yeshiva in Tekoah, and heads the M.Ed. program in Talmud and Jewish Thought at Jerusalem College for Women (Michlala). Most of his publications deal with literary interpretation of Mishnah and other Talmudic works, and his literary commentary on tractate Berakhot will soon be published by Tvunot Press.
Articles by the Author
Directing the Heart to God: Moses’ Hands, Brass Serpents, and the Shofar
"Did the hands of Moses make the battle or did his hands break the battle? Rather, as long as Israel gazed upward, and directed their hearts to their Father in Heaven, they prevailed; but when not, they fell." — M. Rosh Hashanah 3:8
Composing Rosh Hashanah as a Day of Judgment
The main source in rabbinic literature for Rosh Hashanah serving as a day of judgment is a mishnah that describes this holiday and the three pilgrimage festivals as “periods of judgment.” By comparing this Mishnah with teachings attributed to R. Akiva, we can trace how this idea evolved in the tannaitic period and how this mishnah reshapes it.