(Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)

(Haftara Isaiah 60:1-22)

(Pirkei Avot Chapter 3 & 4)

(Elul)

  1. [26:2] “And you will take from the first of all the fruits of the ground…” Why is the first of anything so special to us?
  1. [26:3] “Today I am affirming to Hashem, your God…” The person who brings the first-fruits says this. Why does he say “Hashem , your God”, rather than “Hashem my God”, or “Hashem our God”?
  1. [28:23] “The heavens above your head will be copper, and the earth under you will be iron”. What does this mean in a physical way, and what does it mean in a spiritual-psychological way?
  1. [Haftara: Yeshayahu 60:9] “…to bring your children from far..” This pasuk is referring to the “ingathering of the exiles”—the Jews gathering in the land of Israel. Rav Kuk speaks about a personal “ingathering of one’s exiles”.  What are one’s personal exiles? How does a person gather his or her personal exiles?
  1. [Elul] For the general non-Jewish world, the New Year is a time of celebrating the beginning of a new year and renewing ourselves. For us the new year is a judgment day in addition to a time of renewal. What is the difference between these 2 approaches?

Commentary

[28:47] “Because you did not serve Hashem, your God,  with joy and a happy heart…”

When a person is introspective, and he, himself, judges all the things that he does, then there is no judgment from above. Through this introspection and self-judgment a person can come to such great joy that he wants to dance as a result of his joy.

–R. Nachman of Breslov (Ukraine, 1772-1810).

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