(Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17)
(Haftara: of Rosh Chodesh)
(Rosh Chodesh)

1. [11:27] “…the blessing is listening to the commandments…the curse is if you don’t listen…” The Torah does not say that if you listen to the commandments, you will get blessing. The “listening to the commandments” itself, seems to be the blessing.
How is the listening a blessing? Why is listening to the commandments a blessing, rather than “doing” the commandments?

2. [11:29] “…the blessing on Mount Grizim and the curse on Mount Eival…” What educational purpose is served by the blessings and the curses being centered on physical places and being expressed in such a dramatic way?

3. [12:1] “…you will keep to do…all the days that you live on the earth…” “What is the meaning and purpose of the phrase, “…all the days that you live on the earth”?

4. [14:1] “You are the children of God, do not cut yourselves …for the dead.” Why does excessive mourning seem to be so contradictory to being God’s holy people?

5. [15:8] The Torah tells us that we should give a poor person enough charity to return to his former financial state. Therefore, someone who was previously rich would get much more charity than someone who was previously poor. What is the logic in this?

Commentary

[14:24] “And if the way is long for you, so that you are not able to carry it, because the place is far from you…”

If a person is excited about doing something, then the task is not hard for him and it does not make him tired. However, if he does not really want to do the task, then it just becomes a big burden for him.

If one is not excited about doing the commandments—if the way is long and tires him out—this is a sure sign that God is far from him.

— R. Moshe Alsheich (1520 – 1600, Saloniki & Safed)

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker
And 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