Learning Group– Parshot Behar-Bechukotai
(Haftara: Yirmiahu 16:19-17:14)
(Pirkay Avot: Chapter 5)
1. [26:37] “the sound of a leaf will chase you…but no-one will be chasing you”. What psychological condition does this sound like? Are there other psychological illnesses mentioned in these psukim?
2. [27:33] “…and he shall not exchange it…” One of levels of interpretation of the Torah is the spiritual level. R. Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, (1902-1994), said that this pasuk can be understood to mean that every person was born with a mission in life that is distinctly, uniquely and exclusively his or her own. How can a person know what his or her purpose in life is?
3. [Jeremiah 16:19] “…to You the nations will come from the ends of the earth.” We believe that in the future all the people in the world will recognize the one universal God who revealed the Torah to us. In other words, we will be recognized as the center of the world. In our religious-spiritual system, arrogance is considered a very, very bad quality. How can we believe in our religious-spiritual system in a way that does not lead to arrogance?
4. [Yirmiahu 32:27] “…is there anything too hard for me?” In pasuk 17 of this chapter. Yirmiahu says to God, “…there is nothing too hard for you”. In pasuk 27, God says to Yermiyahu in almost the same words, “ …is there anything too hard for me?”. Yirmiyahu knew in theory that God can do anything, but God had to reassure him. This is a major theme in the way of Torah. How can a person take what he or she knows in theory—in his or her mind—and transfer that understanding to the heart—integrate that knowledge totally into one’s personality?
5. [Pirkay Avot 5:20-23] “One should be as brazen as a leopard… the brazen go to hell…” When is brazenness a Godly quality, and when is brazenness an undesirable quality? Do all human qualities have a holy expression and an unholy expression?
[27:33] “…and he shall not exchange it…”
Every person was born with a mission in life that is distinctly, uniquely and exclusively his or her own. No one–not even the greatest of souls–can take his or her place. No other person who ever lived or who ever will live can fulfill that particular aspect of God’s purpose in creation.
–R. Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, (1902-1994), USA.
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
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