(Numbers 6:2-9:35)

(Haftara: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21)

  1. [6:6,7, 8] “…I took you out, I saved you…” Our tradition speaks about 4 terms for redemption: “I took you out (of Egypt)… I saved you…I redeemed you (also spiritually) and I took you (to myself as a nation). The Torah is eternal and speaks on both a physical and a spiritual level. How do these terms apply to every redemption and how do they apply on a spiritual-psychological level?
  2. [6:12] “…the children of Israel didn’t listen to me, so why would Pharoah listen to me…” The Riva (12th century, France) explains the logic in the following way: The children of Israel didn’t listen to me , even though I came for their good, so why would Pharoah listen to me when I’m telling him something that’s not good for him? Some commentators say that this is faulty logic. What might be faulty about the logic here?
  3. [6:30] Moshe does not want to be the leader of the Israelites, but God insists that he is the man for the job. What qualities does Moshe have that make him a proper leader? How are these qualities different from the qualities that we usually associate with leadership?
  4. [Haftara: Yechezkel 28:26] “…they will live safely on it…and plant vineyards…” There are many plants that farmers plant. Why is planting vineyards a sign that one is living safely in the land?
  5. [Haftara: Ezekiel 29:2] God addresses Ezekiel and other prophets as “son of man”. Ezekiel is a prophet and a spiritual leader of the people. Why is “son of man” a suitable title for a prophet of God and a spiritual leader?

Commentary

If a person, despite all efforts, does not succeed in concentrating on his prayer, he can resort to supplication, asking God to have compassion on him, like a father who takes pity on his children. For we are a part of God as children can be said to be a part of their parents. It is, in a sense the last argument: “O, Lord, even if we are not worthy of your glory or grace, at least for your own sake, since we are a part of You, a spark of Your holiness, come to our aid.”

–R. Adin Steinsaltz, born in 1937, Israel.

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