(Haftara: Malachi 3:4-24)
1. [3:17] “…all chelev and all blood you will not eat.” “Chelev” is a certain very fatty substance in the kosher animal which is forbidden to us. Rav Kuk tells us that chelev represents too much luxury. However, Jews are permitted to enjoy luxury. What is undesirable about too much luxury? How much luxury in one’s life is considered too much and therefore undesirable?
2. [Malachi 3:24] “He shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers…” This is a vision of the messianic future. In the present time, it seems to us that fathers love their children and children love their fathers. What does this pasuk mean? What will change in the messianic future?
3. [Pesach] In our prayers and in Kiddush, we often say “zecher l’yitziat mitzraim”–in memory of leaving Egypt. Why are liberation and freedom such central values to us. Shouldn’t we also mention justice, kindness, truth and awareness of God in Kiddush.
4. [Pesach] We drink four cups of wine at the Pesach seder because the Torah uses four words for different stages of the liberation process. We are joyful that we were liberated. Why are the different parts of the liberation process so important to us? Doesn’t this attention to examining details take away from our joy?
5. [Pesach] One of the functions of the Pesach seder is to bring together all ages to learn and transmit our history. We have many customs which make the liberation experience more real and allow all ages to relate to each other and to the liberation experience. In our day, what experiences, discussions and actions could we add to unite all ages and make the experience of liberation very real?
Ultimate freedom is relative to the light of supreme kindness. These qualities can only exist when one has purified one’s personality traits. This purity removes all jealousy from the heart…One becomes happy with oneself, defines oneself by one’s spirituality, and is not jealous of another’s physical or spiritual accomplishments.
–R. Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen 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