Drash Cards for VaYeira (5766)
By Marc Mangel
• I stopped preparing for today at v 3: “I appeared to them…I did not become known to them”. What does this mean?
• Melo HAOmer says that God appeared to the Avot through an unclear lens but to Moshe through a clear lens.
• Can the lens continue to get better? Is revelation a continuing process or did it freeze at Sinai (or at the Sanhedrin, or at the Talmud, or at the Shulchan Aruch?)
• Maimonides: “The gates of interpretation are never sealed”
• Tamara Ross (Orthodox at Bar-Ilan): “a dynamic unfolding of the original Torah transmitted at Sinai reveals in time its ultimate significance”. God’s voice is not an actual voice but heard through interpretation of the text.
• The first Rav Kook: There is a supernal Torah with successive unfolding of that Torah as progressive revelations of a pre-existent ideal. For example, the Torah laws on slavery are also meant to move humanity away from slavery.
• The Babylonian Talmud is longer than the Jerusalem Talmud because the spirit of prophecy did not have full reign in that Diaspora.
• Here’s what I think: there is one irreplaceable message from God and we must continue to reveal and understand it. In Pirke Avot 5:231, Ben Bag Bag says that we should level into the Torah and continue to delve into it for everything is in it — that is why we must look deeply
• W read the Torah every week and every year. And our hope should be that every time we read the Torah we see a new truth.