(Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)

(Haftara Isaiah 60:1-22)

(Pirkei Avot Chapter 3)

  1. [26:3] “Today I am affirming to Hashem, your God…”  Why does he

say “Hashem , your God”, rather than “Hashem my God”, or “Hashem our God”?

  1. [26:5] “My ancestor was a homeless Aramean…”  The person is finally feeling a sense of “coming home” and accomplishment.  Why must he speak now of the difficult times of the past?
  1. [26:15] “Look down from Your holy habitation—from Heaven…” The Torah says [Devarim 4:39 and in other places], “He is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath”.Why, in this pasuk, do we see God only as being beyond the earth?
  1. [26:18] “…making you His special

[treasured]

nation…” What does it mean to be “His special [treasured] nation”? Is it in the “genes”, or does it come through education? Does it mean that there is extra responsibility or does it mean that there is extra blessing?

  1. [Pirkei Avot 3:1]  “Reflect upon three things and you will not come to the hands of  transgression…from where you came–from a putrid drop; where you are going–to a place of dust, maggots and worms…”  Why is this stated in such negative terms? Our ethical and mystical books tell us that depression leads to sin. To keep us from sin, wouldn’t it have been better to tell us what a noble and Godly soul we have?

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-judgement 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 this study page is dedicated to the memory of Ron ben Malka and Efrayim–Ronald Morritt