(Haftara: Isaiah 54:1-10)
(Pirkay Avot: Chapter 2)
1. [22:6] “…don’t take the mother with the children”. If one wants to take eggs out of a bird’s nest, he has to first send the mother bird away. The Torah tells us that the performance of this commandment will allow a person to live long. What does this act have to do with living long?
2. [22:8] “…you shall make a fence for your roof”. This is common sense. What is gained by making it a religious law? What metaphor might there be here for the spiritual-psychological life?
3. [Haftara: 54:7,8] God tells us here that His anger is for a moment, but His kindness is forever. The Rambam and other sources tell us that God does not have human qualities (except for kindness and love). If so, what does it mean when we say that God is angry? What is the purpose of God’s anger if He really is kind
4. [Pirkei Avot 2:1] “Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with a major one, because you don’t know the rewards for the mitzvot.” We do know that some mitzvoth are more important than others. For example, Shabbat is very important and the mitzvoth of kindness are the most important. Therefore their rewards should be greater than those of other mitzvoth. What does the mishna mean when it says that one should not make a distinction between mitzvoth?
5. [Pirkay Avot 2:5] “…don’t separate yourself from the community…” We know, however, that being part of a community can complicate a person’s life. Why is it so important to be part of a community?
Each time that the heart feels a spiritual stirring, each time a new and noble thought is born, it is as if we are listening to the voice of a messenger of God who is knocking, pressing on the doors of our soul, asking that we open our door to Him, so that He can appear before us in his full majes
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