V’Etchanan (5765)

Drash Cards for V’Etchanan (5765)

by Marc Mangel

• There is an interesting sandwich between Ch 4, v 5-9, then many commandments and principles of Judaism, and Ch 6, v 17, 18

• What are the principles? They are prohibition of idolatry; love and awe of God; the 10 commandments; and the duty of studying Torah

• Why are verses 6-8 needed in Ch 4? The commentators are uniform in their opinion:  the people are in partnership with God.  We are reminded that wine is not grapes, bread is not wheat.

• Rav Solevetchik said:  when we live our lives in a Jewishly defined way, we bring the Divine to earth.

• Heschel said that God is in search of man.

• Levi Yitzchak said that we must internalize the message of the Torah and live openly Jewish.

• Now, Ch 6, v 18019: “Do what is right and good”.  Surely this is implied in doing all the preceding commandments. The repetition must mean new obligation or insight

• Rashi and Rambam agree: They mean going beyond the letter of the law.

• Nehama Leibowitz says “Is it conceivable that one who observes loyally all the moral and ritual observances of the Torah could fall short of the standards of holiness and uprightness implied by ‘be holy’ and ‘do what is right and good’?”

•Yes: Often we encounter situations to which there is no direct and explicit Torah commandment.  But we are called upon these verses to act in the principles of the Torah of holiness and righteousness.

• Let’s leave here remembering that we are partners with God aiming to always do what is right and just