(Haftara: Melachim I, 18:46-19:21)
(Pirkay Avot, Chapt. 6)
1. [Haftara: Melachim I, 19:11,12] “…God was not in the wind…God was not in the earthquake…God was not in the fire…a still, small voice.” God was in the still, small voice. The commentaries say, “…speaking and silence at the same time”. What does this tell us about the nature of prophecy and communication with God?
2. [Pirkay Avot 6:6] “…the Torah is acquired in 48 ways…with humility…” There is humility that is a result of low self-image, and there is a positive kind of humility. What self-image and what relationship to others does a person with positive humility have
3. [Pirkay Avot 6:6] “…the Torah is acquired in 48 ways…by having a good heart…” Having a good heart is certainly a wonderful quality, but how does it help a person in learning and integrating the Torah?
4. [Pirkay Avot 6:6] “…don’t be happy with judging and teaching on matters of Torah law…” Why should one avoid judging and teaching on matters of Torah law?
5. [Pirkay Avot 6:6, 6:8] Mishna 6 mentions honour (kavod) in a negative way—the Torah is acquired by distancing oneself from “kavod”. However, mishna 8 says that “kavod” is a good quality for a righteous person. Is honour (kavod) a good thing or a bad thing?
Even though learning Torah and performing the commandments of the Torah purify one’s personal qualities and one’s personality, one cannot rely on those things alone. One must also work purposefully on the improvement of one’s character.
–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer