(Haftara Shabbat & Rosh Chodesh: Isaiah 66:1-24)
1. [25:4] “And blue and purple and scarlet…” The Tabernacle in the desert had a wide variety of colours and materials. It also appealed to each one of the senses. What is the value of aesthetics in our religious life? Is there a danger when there is too much emphasis on aesthetics in our religious life?
2. [25:8] “…and I will live among them.” How does a central place of holiness cause God to dwell “among” or “between” the people? What does it mean to “dwell among” the people?
3. [Haftara: Yeshayahu 66:1] “…where is the place that is my resting-place?” The midrash tells us that God wanted a dwelling place here on earth. The Chassidic books tell us that we can make a place for God in this world. How can we make a place for God in this world?
4. [Haftara: Yeshayahu 66:12] “…I will give peace to her like a river…” In what way can peace be like a river?
5. [Rosh Chodesh] Rosh Chodesh is our time for renewal. Is the fact that we need rejuvenation a fault of ours, or a natural part of life? Is there a way that we could live where everything always seems fresh and new?
[Haftara: 6:12] “As for this house which you are building, if you will walk in my laws…I will live among the Israelites, and not leave them”.
God said to Shlomo, the king, “Don’t think that this building with all its magnificence is what will bring my Presence to the people. Rather, it is proper behaviour and spirituality which bring my Presence. And through the spirituality, my Presence will remain even after the building is destroyed: “I will live among the Israelites, and not leave them”.
–Kochav M’Ya’akov, R. Yaakov Weidenfeld (1840-1894), Grimalov
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
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