Sharing my Torah thoughts

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  • #1526041
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    I sometimes have (what I believe to be) some original thoughts while I’m learning. I know that it says some pretty bad things about someone who forgets Torah, and this is often explained to mean someone who doesn’t write down new thoughts, so when they are forgotten, they are lost. So I decided to start a thread to not only write down, bu share some of the thoughts I’ve had.

    #1526088
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    A couple of months ago, by Parshas Ki Sisa, I had the following thought:
    The first luchos were created entirely by Hashem – He carved and wrote them. The second set was carved by Moshe, and the words were written by Hashem. Why the difference?
    I remember reading something by R’ Dovid Rosenfeld, where he once explained that when the world was first created, the Olam haRuchni and the Olam haGashmi were perfectly in sync. After the sin of Adam and Chava, they became separated. He mentions that Shabbos is the bridge that connects the two worlds. (He also states that the 10 items created bein hashamashos on the first Friday were also items that bridged the two worlds.)
    So I think that may be the answer to the difference between the two luchos. At Matan Torah, the world was fully repaired to what was originally intended. So we could have a set of luchos that were pure ruchniyos – created entirely by Hashem. After the egel, however, the two worlds separated once again. At that point, we couldn’t have something that was entirely ruchniyos in this world. So we needed it to be half and half – it could bridge the gap, but it wasn’t in sync any more.

    #1526100
    Toi
    Participant

    See an arichus by R Gedalia Schorr ztzl in Ohr Gedalyahu on Shavuis, chelek moadim. He has a long shtikl about the difference between the two sets of luchos, based on what you’re saying.

    #1526109
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Jerushalmi says that the letters of the luchos flew away at the Aigel and the luchos became heavy so Moshe Rabenu could not carry them and he dropped them.

    #1526110
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Originally they did not forget anything they learned but after the breaking of the luchos they forgot.

    #1526238
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    In the first Mishna of Pirkei Avot, it says that Moshe “kibel” Torah m’Sinai. I saw somewhere (can’t remember where) that it says “kibel” because to accept the Torah, it needs to be a full acceptance – you need to accept that the Torah is perfect, and that even though times may change, the Torah does not. As much as you think you may know better, you really don’t – Hashem is better, and the Torah will always be correct.
    My thought is that this is the reason why it says m’Sinai, and not Moshe kibel Torah m’Hashem. We all know the story of Har Sinai – it was the mountain which was humble. Moshe was the greatest anav who ever lived. To accept the Torah, we need to learn the lesson of Sinai, and humble ourselves, to realize that we aren’t as knowledgeable as we may think we are.

    Additionally, I wondered why it says u’m’sarah l’Yehoshua – why not say v’natan l’Yehoshua? I think a reason may be that when you GIVE something, you don’t retain it for yourself. But when it comes to Torah, you’re not giving it, you’re sharing it. You still retain what you shared.

    Then I thought it can’t be correct, because every day, we say noten ha’Torah – the GIVER of the Torah. But then I realized that Hashem did, in fact, GIVE the Torah to us. After Matan Torah, we say Torah lo ba’Shamayim hee! Hashem didn’t keep it for Himself, He gave it to us! That’s why we can say noten ha’Torah regarding Hashem.

    #1526242
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    DaMoshe,

    I really like these thoughts, thank you for sharing them!

    #1526285
    mentsch1
    Participant

    There is a tshuva from the radvaz that discusses the two luchos based on the gemorrah in Sanhedrin (21b) and yerushalmi Megillah (12a)
    There is a machlokis on what form of Hebrew was on the luchos , ksav ivri or ashuris
    The radvaz theorizes that ashuris was on the first luchos and ivri on the second. Since ashuris is so kodesh that it can’t handle avodah zora it couldn’t be used until the time of Ezra when the yetzer for az was destroyed.
    Quite an interesting topic. Check out the artscroll yerushalmi

    #1531066
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    In Tehillim (mizmor shir l’yom haShabbos), Dovid haMelech touches briefly on the age-old question of why good things happen to bad people. He says “A boor doesn’t know, nor does a fool understand this. When the wicked spring up as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do blossom;​ it is that they may be destroyed​ for ever… a tzaddik will flourish like a palm tree, and grow strong like the cedar trees of Lebanon.”

    I think the descriptions of the success reinforce the point. The rasha is described as springing up like grass, and blossoming. While grass looks nice, and spreads widely, it is also very easy to uproot and destroy. The same thing with blossoms – they are easily torn off from the main plant.
    A tzaddik, however, is described as a tree (2 types). Trees take much longer to grow, but they have deep roots, and are established. It’s difficult to destroy a tree.

    So the success of the Rasha is only temporary, without any real foundations. But the tzaddik, while it may take longer to realize it, is really only getting the foundations (roots) established, and the success will last eternally!

    #2264045
    DaMoshe
    Participant

    Wow, it’s been a long time since I wrote down any of my thoughts here…

    This is from a few weeks ago, but also relates to this time of year.

    The question is asked, why is Parshas Mishpatim where it is? After hearing about all the incredible wonders that Bnei Yisrael experienced, all of a sudden, we go to just a series of laws, which seem to be somewhat mundane? We go from excitement to just dry reading of the laws?
    One answer given is that we may think that the miracles are what show the greatness of Hashem. The Torah is showing us that the laws show the greatness equally as much as the miracles.
    I had my own thought as to why the laws are written here. Chumash Shemos is about the founding of the Jewish nation. We went from being a family (descended from the Avos) to being a full-fledged nation, bound to Hashem at Har Sinai. To someone who was there at the time, or someone learning this for the first time, they may think, “What is being a Jew about? It’s about experiencing gilui Shechina, seeing these amazing wonders!” Hashem is telling us no, that’s not what it’s about. When we were formed as a nation, with yetzias Mitzrayim, Krias Yam Suf, and Matan Torah, yes, there were miracles. The nation experienced a gilui Shechina which was never replicated after, and won’t be until the coming of Mashiach. But going forward, we needed to know, that is not what being a Jew is about! In our day to day lives, it’s about the mundane, it’s about following the laws that govern our every action.
    Perhaps that is why in Parshas Yisro, when it gives the response of the Jews, it only says the word Naaseh – Nishma is missing. Nishma is only mentioned at the end of Mishpatim, after the laws are given over. We can only have the full acceptance when we understand what it is that we’re accepting.

    There are opinions that the Kabalas haTorah at Har Sinai was not fully sincere – one opinion even says that the Jews were trying to “trick” Hashem. We know that there was a second Kabalas haTorah, on Purim – kimu v’kiblu. What is the connection between Purim and Kabalas haTorah? Why was that the day that this occurred?

    I thought that perhaps the connection to Parshas Mishpatim is the answer. The Jews experienced all the wonders, and were obviously so inspired by them. But when the wonders were gone, their acceptance slipped. “Where is the Shechina now?” they may have wondered. They didn’t see it openly before them anymore, and perhaps it affected them.

    On Purim, they saw the nes nistar. They realized that even when they can’t see Hashem openly, He is still there behind the scenes, looking out for us. When they realized that, they knew that even without the gilui Shechinah, Hashem is with us. That inspired them to fully accept the Torah, knowing that we are never alone.

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