(Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20)

(Isaiah 61:10-63:9)

  1. [29:28] “…the hidden things are God’s…” What are the “hidden things” ? What are the “revealed things”? Why are the “hidden” things in the world at all, if they are not for us to relate to?
  1. [30:2] “And you will return to God and you will listen to His voice…” Rav Kuk tells us that we hear the voice of God speaking to us as individuals and as groups, in our everyday lives. In what ways do we hear the voice of God speaking to us?
  1. [30:11-12] This mitzvah which I command you today… It is not in heaven…” The Talmud teaches us that matters of Jewish law are decided by the majority of Rabbis. “It is not in heaven…”–the rabbis should argue about the law and decide.  If  Jewish law is telling us how

to do the will of God, then how can the majority of rabbis decide what the will of God is?

  1. [30:14] We are told that the ultimate purpose and greatest good of life is “not in heaven or across the sea, but rather is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart to do it.” What are these “things” which are the greatest good, and are so close to us?
  1. [Haftara: Isaiah 63:8] “For He (God) said, ‘Certainly they are my children, they will not lie.’ So He was their saviour”. It seem in this pasuk that what makes the Jewish people beloved in God’s eyes is the fact that they don’t lie. In many psukim, however, it is stated that keeping the commandments is what makes the people beloved. How can this contradiction be resolved?

Commentary

[Devarim  29: 9,10]  “You are standing this day, all of you, before the Lord, your God: your leaders, your tribes, your elders, and your policemen, and each Israelite man; your little ones, your wives, and your stranger that is in your camp, from your woodchopper, to your water-drawer”.

In the Talmud (Pesachim 50a) Rav Yosef  had a near-death experience. About this experience, he said,  “I saw an upside-down world. Those who are on top here, are on the bottom there; and those who are regarded as lowly here, are elevated in Heaven.”  In our world, the leader or the wise-man is superior to the woodchopper or the water-carrier.  But in the ultimate reality, in God’s eyes, it is very different.

–R. Moshe Alsheich, Turkey, 16th century

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