(Dvarim 32:1-52)

(Haftara: Shabbat Shuvah: Hoshea 14:2-10…)

(Slichot)

(Rosh Hashana)

1. [32:2] “My doctrine shall drop like the rain / My speech shall come down like the dew.” God’s teaching is compared to the rain and the dew. The Torah is compared to water, and especially to the water of the sea. Why are rain, dew and water very good metaphors for the Torah?

2. [Hoshea 14:2] “Return Israel until you get to God…” What is the difference in quality between a person changing him or herself with God in mind, and a person improving him or herself in order to be a better person, and without God in mind?

3. [Hosea 14:10] “For the ways of God are straight. The righteous will walk in them, but sinners will stumble in them.” How can the same things be good for the righteous, but bad for the sinners?

4. The 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are called the 10 days of tshuvah (repentance or transformation). Is it realistic to expect transformation of character from ourselves, or do we only expect a change in behaviour?

5. Rav Kuk tells us that if a person returns to God, but does not return to his or her authentic self, then this is a false tshuvah. Why is this tshuvah false if the person returned to God?

Commentary

Through real pure tshuvah, one has to go back to the world and to life. This returns holiness to its proper place, and sets up God’s presence in the world.

–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