(Numbers: 8:1-12:16)

(Haftara: Zecharia 2:14-4:7)

(Pirkay Avot, chapter 2)

  1. [9:6] “And there were people who were impure and they could not do the Passover offering…” Whoever is ritually impure or too far away and can’t eat the Passover sacrifice on Passover can do it a month later. If one were sick, one can’t hear the shofar later or live in a sukkah later. Why is this the only major commandment that one can do at a later date?
  1. [11:18, 20] “God will give you meat and you will eat it…until it comes out of your nose…” God and Moshe are taking a slave people and trying to make them mature so that they can be a free people. Is this kind of cynical talk (“until it comes out of your nose”) a strategy for effective parenting, or is it a result of losing patience?
  1. 3. [11:28-29] “…and he said, “My master, Moshe, destroy them.” When Eldad and Medad have prophecy, Yehoshua suggests that they be destroyed, but Moshe says that he wishes all the people were prophets. What is the difference between Moshe’s ideal of leadership and Yehoshua’s ideal of leadership?
  1. [Zecharia 2:14] “Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion, because I am coming…” When telling the Jewish people about the final redemption, God addresses us in the feminine. The midrashic literature tells us that the redemption is especially dependent on the women of Israel. Why do women have such a prominent role in the redemption?
  1. [Pirkei Avot 2:2] “…all Torah study that is not accompanied with work will ultimately be forgotten and cause sin.” One would think that the more Torah one learns, the richer one’s life is in every way. Why does being involved in the world help a person acquire and retain Torah?

Commentary

“Search for God when He can be found (Yeshaya55:6)”—the initiative for the search rests entirely with man…The path to God is not a highway, but rather a narrow winding and challenging road.

–R. Y. D. Soloveitchik, 1903-1993, USA.

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