(Haftara: Isaiah 49:14-51:3)
(Pirkay Avot Chapter 5)
1. [7:22 ] “slowly, slowly; you cannot remove them quickly…” Here, the Torah is telling us to be patient. However, when we left Egypt, the Torah told us to move very quickly and leave quickly [Shmot 12:11]. When is the proper time for patience and when is the proper time for haste?
2. [8:2] “Remember the way that God took you… in order to make you suffer, in order to test you…” After things are good, one should remember the suffering in the desert, which was a test from God. Obviously, they passed the test. What purpose is served by remembering suffering and tests of this kind?
3. [8:7] “God is bringing you to a good land with brooks of water… going out in the valleys and the hills.” In our spiritual literature, the land of Israel represents the ideal state of mind. Why is a land of hills and valleys more ideal than a flat land?
4. [Yeshaya 51:1] “…you that chase after justice, that seek God…” Why are seekers of God only those who chase after justice. What about those who chase after love or after peace or inner peace—are they not seekers of God?
5. [Pirkay Avot 5:13] “…what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is yours, is a chassid…” A chassid is someone who does more than is asked of him. What is the ideal, balanced approach to one’s property and sharing it with others?
When a person is on a trip and he can’t pray or learn Torah in his normal way, then he should serve God in other ways, and he shouldn’t be bothered by this, because God wants him to serve in all ways—sometimes in this way and sometimes in that way. That’s why he happened to be going on a certain road, or speaking to certain people, in order to serve God in that particular way.
–R. Yisrael ben Eliezer, 1698-1760, Ukraine.
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