(Numbers: 16:1-18:32)

(Haftara: Shmuel I, 11:14-12:22)

(Pirkay Avot Chapter 4)

  1. [18:1] “…bear the sin of the holy place…” What is meant by “the sin of the holy place”, and “the sin of the priesthood”?
  1. [18:8-20] “…I have given you the charge of my gifts…” The tribe of Levi gets gifts from the people of Israel. Doesn’t this seem like favouritism toward Levi? Won’t it cause jealousy?
  1. [18:32] “Don’t profane the holy things of the children of Israel so that you will not die.” Why is there such a severe punishment for profaning holy things?
  1. [Haftara: Shmuel I 12:3] “…whose ox have I taken; whose donkey have I taken; whom have I cheated…?” Shmuel is presenting his reliability as the religious leader to the people. Shouldn’t he mention his prophecies, his judgment and his successes. Why does he rely on his ethical behaviour to prove his dependability?
  1. [Pirkei Avot 4:7] “Whichever judge does not judge [but rather compromises] saves himself from hate…” Our tradition is that justice is a supreme value. Why is compromise of greater value than justice?

Commentary

Justice means consideration for every being as a creation of God, for all possessions as having a purpose before God…  Therefore we must be alert to the demands that each of these makes on us.

–R. Shimshon R. Hirsch,  1808-1888, Germany.

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