(Numbers: 4:21-7:89)

(Haftara: Shoftim 13:2-25)

(Pirkay Avot:Chapter 1)

(Shavuot)

1. [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 does against his fellow is also treason against God. Why is doing wrong to a person a betrayal of God?

2. [Haftara: Shoftim 13:5]  Shimshon (and Shmuel) were born with the restrictions and duties of nazirim. Their mothers had declared that they would be nazirim. In our parsha, the nazir chooses to be a nazir by himself, and does so for a limited amount of time. Who do you think would be more committed to being a nazir—one who doesn’t choose it and does it all his life, or one who chooses it and does it temporarily?

3. [Shavuot: Ruth] Ruth and her daughter-in-law, Naomi, are poor and alone, and then life becomes better through the kindness of others. Why is it suitable to read Megillat Ruth on the “festival of the giving of the Torah”?

4. [Pirkay Avot 1:1] “Moshe received the Torah from Sinai, and passed it on to Yehoshua, and Yehoshua to the elders…” Why doesn’t the mishna say that Yehoshua received it from Moshe and the elders received it from Yehoshua, and so on?

5. [Pirkay Avot 1:1] “They said 3 things…set up many students…”  Why is the advice here to set up many students. Wouldn’t one have more of a positive influence on his generation and on future generations by writing many books?

Commentary

[10 commandments] “Don’t take the name of the Lord, your God in vain”.

Our souls are drawn into the world from the source of Holiness, and the name of God is upon us.  But a person must realize the true value of his or her soul, and not “take [it]…in vain”.  If a person doesn’t see his true potential and doesn’t try to fix his own soul and move in a Godly direction—if he takes the name of God within himself in vain—then he will not receive help from above. But when a person realizes what kind of soul he has, and helps himself, then God will help him.

— The Sfat Emet, R. Yehudah Leib Alter, (1847-1905), Poland.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya Kornberg

And this study page is also dedicated to the memory cof Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker