(Haftara: Judges 13:2-25)
(Pirkay Avot:Chapter 6)
1. [5:14] “…and a spirit of jealousy comes on him…” When a husband suspects his wife of being unfaithful, she drinks something which tests her faithfulness. One would think that there should be a better way of dealing with this difficult situation. In what kind of a society could this ceremony be understood as an enlightened way of dealing with this difficult situation?
2. [6:25-26] “May God shine His face toward you…” What does it mean for God to shine His face toward someone? What does it mean for God to hide His face?
3. [5:6] “…when they do any of the sins of man to betray God.” Rabbenu Bachya (Spain, 11th century) says that any sin that a person commits against his fellow is also treason against God. Why is doing wrong to a person a betrayal of God?
4. [Haftara: Judges 13:3]: “And an angel of God appeared to the woman…” Our tradition tells us that God prefers to work within the laws of nature, rather than do miracles. Miracles are only for special situations. If so, why did an angel tell Shimshon’s mother about Shimshon’samson’s birth? Why couldn’t a human prophet have told her?
5. [6:1] “R. Meir says, ‘Whoever learns Torah l’shma (literally: for its name) is worthy of many things…’ ” In our tradition, there are 2 main explanations of “Torah l’shma”. Torah l’shma is defined as learning Torah without ulterior motives—for the love of God. Others explain the term as meaning learning Torah in order to learn it as thoroughly and clearly as possible—for the sake of the Torah. Which explanation do you prefer? Why?
When one truly looks at the good side of each and every person, one comes to love people with a deep love. One has no need for even the slightest flattery, because one’s interest in the good that one constantly meets, hides all the negative aspects from him.
–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 Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer