(Numbers 1 :1-4:20) / (Pirkay Avot Chapter)

(Shavuot)

1. [Pirkay Avot 6:1] R. Mayer says, “Anyone who is involved in learning Torah l’shma [for it’s own sake] is worthy of many things…” What does it mean to learn Torah l’shma, and what does it mean to learn Torah not “l’shma”?

2. [6:2] “Only one who is involved in learning Torah can be called a free person”. From a Torah point of view, what does it mean to be a free person? What is the difference between the Torah’s idea of freedom and the world’s idea of freedom?

3. [6:2] How would being involved in learning Torah make one into a free person?

4. [6:3] We learned that one should learn from everyone, and we learn here that one should honour even someone from whom he learned 1 thing. If one learned something from an immoral person (for example, patience from a thief) should one honour the immoral person?

5.  [Shavuot] Our tradition tells us to celebrate the giving of the Torah on Shavuot. However, our tradition also tells us to celebrate the end of the yearly cycle of reading the Torah and the beginning of the new cycle on Simchat Torah—4 months later. Wouldn’t one expect these 2 events to be celebrated on the same day? What is the purpose of having 2 separate days for celebrating the Torah?

Commentary

The basis of religious faith is rooted in the recognition of the greatness and perfection of the Infinite. However we conceive of it is insignificant in comparison…to what it really is. If we lose this basic perception, our faith will become poor and without value…If our faith is to shine in a living light, it must be linked to a level of enlightenment that transcends…

–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker

And to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer