(Pirkay Avot Chapters 5 & 6)
1. [30:2] “And you will return to God, and you will listen to His voice…” The Torah values someone who returns to God. The Talmud tells us that someone who returns to God is greater than someone who was always righteous. In what ways is one who returns greater, and what causes this greatness?
2. [31:2] “I am 120 years old to-day; I can no longer go out and come in.” The Torah tells us in another place that Moshe still had his physical strength, so this pasuk must mean that he can no longer go out and come in psychologically or spiritually. What does it mean in a spiritual sense that he can no longer “go out and come in”?
3. [Haftara: Isaiah 63:8] “For He (God) said, ‘Certainly they are my children, they will not lie.’ So He was their saviour”. God is our savior because we would not lie to Him. Why is lying to someone considered a serious betrayal, even if the lie is about something relatively unimportant?
4. [Pirkay Avot 5:23] “…the shy (bashful) go to Paradise.” Why are the shy rewarded with Paradise?
5. [Elul] On the night after next Shabbat, we begin saying Slichot, and then we say them in the early morning on most days until Yom Kippur. In the Slichot, we ask God to forgive us, “for the sake of Your name…for the glory of Your name”. What does it mean that God should forgive us for the sake or the glory of His name?
Through tshuvah, everything returns to Godliness. Because of the existence of the power of tshuvah in all the worlds, everything returns and connects to Godly perfection. Through thoughts of tshuvah, understanding tshuvah and its emotions, all of our thoughts, imagination and knowledge, our desires and our emotions are transformed and again placed within the realm of the Divine.
–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