(Haftara: Isaiah 54:1-55:5)
1. [6:9] “Noach was a just, perfect man in his generation”. Rashi (France, 1040-1105) our main commentator, quotes the midrash which interprets this pasuk in 2 ways. Noach was so righteous in such an evil generation that, had he lived in the generation of Abraham he would have been even more righteous. Or Noach was considered righteous in an evil generation, but in the generation of Abraham, he would only have been an average person. From Noach’s life, what proof do you see for either of these interpretations?
2. [8:21] “And God smelled the sweet fragrance…” We know that God is not at all physical, and that the Torah gives God physical attributes because “the Torah speaks in the language of people”. On the one hand, giving human emotions and actions to God makes God easier to understand, but on the other hand, this is misleading, and could make some people think that God is almost physical. How can one justify giving human emotions and human actions to God?
3. [Yeshayahu 54:4] “Do not fear, because you will not be ashamed…” Shame is mentioned 3 times in this pasuk. What makes shame such an undesirable emotion?
4. [Yeshayahu 54:4] “Don’t be afraid, because you will not be embarrassed [tevoshi] and you will not be ashamed [tikalmi]…” There are various words in Hebrew for different types or different levels of embarrassment. What are the different types and different levels of embarrassment?
5. [54:10] “ …my kindness will not depart from you, and my covenant of peace will not be removed…” Are kindness and peace the highest values of the Torah?
The most basic righteousness of a really righteous person is his constant demand for Godliness—to be connected with all his desire, his mind, his will and his emotion to his Creator…This constant connection increases Godly light continually.
–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.
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 of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker