(Haftara: Amos 9:7-15) / (Pirkay Avot: Chapter 3)
1. [19:18] “…and love your fellow person like you love yourself “. Is it a sin then, not to love oneself? If someone has a low self-image, and does not love himself or herself, what should he or she do? How can a person come to love him or herself? How can a person come to appreciate and love another person?
2. [Haftara: Amos 9:15] “I will plant them on their land and they shall no more be uprooted…” Why doesn’t the pasuk say that they will no longer be driven out? Why is the metaphor of planting and being uprooted a good metaphor for the relationship of the Jewish people to the land of Israel?
3. [Pirkei Avot 3:9] “R. Chanina ben Dosa says: ” Anyone whose fear of wrong-doing is more important to him than his wisdom, his wisdom will endure, but anyone whose wisdom is more important to him than his fear of wrong-doing, his wisdom will not endure.” Why is one’s wisdom dependent on how careful one is in his or her morality?
4. [Pirkei Avot 3:10] He used to say, “Anyone who people like, God also likes, and anyone who people don’t like, God doesn’t like.” Why do we compare God’s perception of a person to people’s perception of a person? People can be wrong!
5. [Pirkei Avot 3:13] R. Akiva says, “…silence preserves wisdom.” Wouldn’t one think that interacting with the world and being talkative would add to wisdom? Why do we say that”…silence preserves wisdom”?
[19:18] “…and love your fellow person like you love yourself “.
A learned but ungenerous man said to R. Avraham of Stretyn (mid 1800’s–Poland): “They say that you give people mysterious drugs, and that your drugs are effective. Offer me one that will give me the fear of God.”
” I don’t know any drug for the fear of God,” said R. Avraham. “But if you like, I can give you one for the love of God.”
“That’s even better!” said the man. “Just give it to me.”
“It’s the love of your fellow men,” answered the tzaddik.
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 cof Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker