(Haftara: Yechezkel 45:16)
(Shabbat Rosh Chodesh)
1. [1:2] “…when a man brings an offering to God…” The root of the word for sacrifice—”korban” means coming close. How would animal sacrifices make the person who brings them come closer to God?
2. The Rambam (in The Guide for the Perplexed ) says that animal sacrifices were commanded only because the Israelites were used to them in Egypt. However, they were later replaced by prayer. In which ways is prayer a replacement for sacrifices?
3. [Haggadah of Pesach] One of the commandments of Pesach night is to tell the story of our liberation from Egypt. The story is supposed to be told through questions and answers. What does the question-and-answer format contribute to the seder and what does this rule (question-and-answer) tell us about Judaism and the Jews?
4. [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)”. Why is this an effective educational method?
5. Our holy books tell us that chametz—leaven—represents arrogance. On Pesach, leaven is totally forbidden to us. Arrogance is also totally undesirable to us, so why is leaven only forbidden on the week of Pesach. Why is it not forbidden all year round?
Real freedom is connected to real kindness, and only appears in the world when one has the purest personal qualities. This purity removes all envy from the heart, like the prophetic vision: “I will remove your heart of stone and I will give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19).
–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel..
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli ZuckerAnd to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer