Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2019

Chibuv Mitzvot - Loving Mitzvot - Parashat Ha'Azinu 5780, October 11, 2019

In the beginning of Masechet Avodah Zara, the gemara discusses the end of days and concludes the discussion with a presentation of two totally different attitudes towards the mitzvah of sukkah:

In times to come, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will take a scroll of the Law in His embrace and proclaim, “Let him who has occupied himself with this, come and take his reward.” All of the nations will crowd together in confusion. The Holy One, Blessed be He, will then say to them, “Do not come before Me in confusion, but let each nation come in with its scribes.”

The Kingdom of Edom (or Rome) will enter first before Him. The Holy One, Blessed be He, will then say to them, “With what have you occupied yourselves?” They will reply, “O Lord of the Universe, we have established many market-places, we have erected many baths, we have accumulated much gold and silver, and all this we did only for the sake of Israel, that they might [have leisure] for occupying themselves with the study of the Torah.…

The Destiny of the Jewish People is Guided by Hashem's Providence - Parashat VaYelech 5780 - October 4, 2019

This week, we read parashat VaYelech. Parashat VaYelech records some of the final words that Moshe conveyed to the Jewish People prior to his demise. At the end of these comments, Hashem shares a prophecy with Moshe in the presence of his successor, Yehoshua.

Hashem said, “Behold, you will lie with your fathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the gods of the foreigners of the Land, in the midst of which the nation is entering. And the nation will leave Me and annul My covenant that I have sealed with it. My anger will flare against the nation on that day and I will leave them; and I will conceal My face from them and they will become prey and many evils and distresses will encounter it. (The nation) will say on that day, ‘It is not because my G-d is not in my midst that these evils have come upon me?’ But I will surely have concealed My face on that day because of all the evil that it did, for it had turned to gods of others.”

Rabbi Ovadiah Seforno discusses this passage…

Standing Up - Parashat Nitzavim 5779, September 27, 2019

This week’s parasha, Nitzavim, describes Moshe’s inducting b'nei Yisrael into a covenant with Hashem. Moshe Rabbenu begins, “You, all, are standing (nitzavim) here today before the Lord your God. Your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in the midst of thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water.”
In the course of developing a very interesting theory about the uniqueness of this covenant, Ohr HaChayyim asks two questions on the text of Moshe Rabbenu’s announcement. First, when describing b'nei Yisrael standing in front of Hashem, why does Moshe use the word, nitzavim, as opposed to the more common word, omdim? Second, why does Moshe enumerate each segment of the Jewish People – heads, tribes, elders, officers, etc.?
Ohr HaChayyim begins by defining the word nitzavim more precisely. He explains that the word means standing in the sense of an appointment. Americ…