(Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22)

(Haftara: Shabbat Chazon: Isaiah 1:1-27)

(Pirkay Avot: Chapter 3)

1. [1:17] “…for the judgment is God’s…” If God is really the only judge, then what is the job of a human judge and how can he do his job successfully?

2. [Pirkei Avot 3:9] “R. Chanina ben Dosa says: ” Anyone whose fear of wrong-doing is more important to him than his wisdom, his wisdom will endure, but anyone whose wisdom is more important to him than his fear of wrong-doing, his wisdom will not endure.” Why is it that only a moral person can have wisdom?

3. [Pirkei Avot 3:10] He used to say, “Anyone who people like, God also likes, and anyone who people don’t like, God doesn’t like.” Why do we equate God’s perception of a person to people’s perception of a person? People can be wrong in their perceptions!

4. [Tisha b’Av] Next Saturday night (the 9th of August) is Tisha b’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples and all other tragedies in Jewish history. The Talmud says, “Whoever mourns for Jerusalem will be worthy to see the joy of Jerusalem, and whoever does not mourn for Jerusalem will not see the joy of Jerusalem”.   Why should seeing joy be dependent on whether someone mourned

  1. [Tisha B’Av] Our tradition tells us that the Messiah is born on Tisha B’Av, and that Tisha B’Av will be a joyful festival in the future. In our every-day lives, how can tragedy have a positive outcome in the future?

Commentary

Then the world will be built anew, heaven and earth will kiss, and the joy of creation will be everywhere. This process is at work in the case of the individual, the nation, the world and all of existence.

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

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer