(Haftara Isaiah 60:1-22)
(Psalms 27: Hashem Ori v’yishi)
1. [26:2] “And you will take from the first of all the fruits of the ground…” The
Sfat Emet says that “this is in order to emphasize and to celebrate newness and
freshness”. What is so special about newness and freshness? Shouldn’t we celebrate tradition and experience?
2. [28:45-48] “These curses will come upon you…because you did not serve God joyfully”. An employer in our everyday life does not care if one does his job happily or not. He wants the job done well. Why does God insist that we do His commandments with joy?
3. [29:8] “…and you will do them [the commandments] in order to act intelligently in all that you do.” Does God mainly want us to do his commandments, or does he mainly want us to become intelligent through the commandments? If a person does the commandments in an automatic way and does not become intelligent, is that worthless to God?
4. [Yeshayahu 60:14] “…all those that despised you will bow down at the soles of your feet…” From the next pasuk [“Zion, the Holy One of Israel”] it seems that those that despise us will bow down because they see us in a different way. In what way will their perception of us change?
From the beginning of the month of Elul, we started saying psalm 27 twice a day after the regular prayer.
5. [Psalm 27:4] “…to see the pleasantness of God and to visit in His holy place.” How does one visit His holy place?
The main act of tshuvah, which immediately lights up the darkness, is when one returns to oneself, to the source of one’s soul. Then at once, one returns to God—to the soul of all souls—and one progresses higher in holiness and purity. This is true for the individual and for a whole nation, for all of mankind and for all of existence. Its downfall always comes from the fact that it forgets its true nature.
–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 Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer