(Haftara: Malachi 3:4-24)
1. [6:2] “… it is the law of the olah.” The sacrifice called the “chatat” is partially burned on the altar, and partly eaten by the Kohanim. The sacrifice “shlamim” is in part burned on the altar, in part eaten by the Kohanim, and in part eaten by the person who brought the sacrifice. The sacrifice “olah” is completely burnt on the altar, and is the only one which may be brought by a non-Jew. Why is the olah the most appropriate sacrifice for a non-Jew?
2. [Malachi 3:24] “and returns the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children toward their fathers.” This happens in the ideal Messianic era. Do fathers now not love their children, and do children not love their fathers? How will this change and why it is so important for the ideal messianic society of the future?
3. [Passover] In ethical Jewish thought, risen dough in bread and cakes represents arrogance and evil in general. Why is risen dough a good metaphor for the arrogance and the tendency toward evil?
4. [Passover] In many of our commandments we, mention the departure from Egypt. Why does this seem to be even more important than getting the Torah on Sinai?
5. [Passover] The feast of Pesach is called so in Hebrew because God “passed over” the houses of the Israelites when the firstborn of the Egyptians were killed (Shmot 12:13). This appears to be a small detail in the whole process of deliverance. Why is the festival named after this small detail?
[Haggadah for Passover] “This is the bread of the poor.”
The bread of the poor is the modesty which the Israelites had before they received the Torah. It is, in fact, that which allowed them to receive the Torah. Without modesty, it would have been impossible for the Israelites to adopt the holiness of Torah. Through modesty – poverty – and the awareness that without divine influence there cannot be wisdom and knowledge, the Israelites were able to accept the sublime light.
–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.
Dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker
And in memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzhak and Chana, Chaim Yechiel Yosef ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer