(Haftara:Yirmiahu 7:21-8:3, 9:22,23)
- The most elevated spirituality in the world is on the Temple Mount, and the animal sacrifices were the main activity in the Temple service. One might think that more intense spirituality means paying less attention to particulars and details, and focusing on universal ideas. However, the Temple service is made up of many, many details. How could focusing on details elevate someone spiritually?
- During the time when there was a Temple service in Jerusalem, people, and especially Kohanim, were constantly aware of their own purity or impurity. They had to ask themselves whether they could enter places on the Temple Mount, or eat trumah, or even touch certain foods and vessels. Since one of our religious goals is to be less selfish, isn’t this self-involvement with purity and impurity counter-productive?
- [Yirmiahu 9:23] God says that the ideal is to know “That I am the Lord that does mercy, justice and righteousness”. One is expected to imitate God in these qualities. Is there any value in having these qualities, but not believing in God?
- [Purim] The story of Purim teaches us that deliverance and salvation often come from unexpected sources. Esther seemed to be living a very non-Jewish life in the palace, but she is the source of the deliverance. How can this awareness affect our own everyday life?
- [Siddur, “…words of the living God…] What greater meaning is added by saying that the angels say the words of “the living God”, rather than just “the words of God”?
A person should constantly be attached to the good Godly essence which is in the root of the soul of the whole community of Israel. In this way one will be able to return [to his true self, to his people, to God]. He will always be aware that his inadequacies come from being isolated from the Godly nation…The community of Israel embraces the Godly good not only for itself, but for the whole world and for all of Creation.
–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania, Israel.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker
And to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer