(Haftara: Isaiah: 43:21-44:23)
1. [Vayikra] Many commentators believe that there will be animal sacrifices in the messianic Third Temple. Rav Kuk believes that there will be no animal sacrifices, but there will only be flour offerings. Why is it so important for the Jewish people and the individual Jew that there should be offerings offered at the Temple?
2. [Haggadah of Pesach] The passage in the haggadah about the 4 sons teaches us that each son should be taught in a way which is suitable to his understanding. This is a model of Jewish education, as it says in the book of Mishle, “Teach the youth according to his way (Mishle 22:6)”. Where in our religious tradition do we see this principle applied?
3. [Haggadah] In the Haggadah, R. Eliezer deduces that there were not just 10 plagues on the Egyptians, but there were really 240 plagues. What purpose is served by adding onto the number of plagues written in the Torah?
4. [Haggadah] At the Pesach seder, we remember the Egyptian experience by retelling the story. We also remember the bitterness of the slavery in Egypt by eating bitters; we remember the haste of the liberation by eating matza; and we remember the liberation by drinking wine. Why are talking and eating our main ways of reliving the Egyptian experience and the redemption? Why not something more experiential, similar to the sukkah on Sukkot?
5. [Haftara: Isaiah 44:23] “Sing, heavens…shout, lowest parts of the earth…” All of creation will rejoice about the redemption—from the highest to the lowest. What does that fact tell us about the nature of the redemption?
[1:9] “…a sweet smell for God.”
A smell can be sensed from far away, so anything that can be sensed before reaching it is called a “smell”. The most important quality of a sacrifice is that the person who brings it should repent and improve his or her actions in the future. Without that desire for improvement, God says, “Of what use are all of your sacrifices (Isaiah 1:11). The “sweet smell” is the anticipation of the good actions in the future.
–R. Yitzchak Mayer of Gur, Poland, (1799-1866)
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