Thursday, October 08, 2015

Dvar Yehudah: parsha points from my grandfather


Torah: it's not the same old thing

My uncle, Ezra Schochet, compiled some of the notes my grandfather, R' Dov Yehudah Schochet Z"L wrote into a sefer called Dvar Yehuda. I'll try to share some. The following piece is particularly appropriate for the beginning, as it reflects on the constant renewal we have in accepting Torah each day.

The 31st verse of the first chapter of Bereishis refers to "yom hashishi" [the sixth day]. My grandfather cites the Chazal (Footnote citation identifies the source as both Avoda Zara 3a and Midrash Tanchumah) that says, im Yisrael mekablim, if Yisrael accept [the Torha, the world will endure]. He points out that it does not use the future tense, to say "if Yisrael will accept" but the present tense. That indicates that the acceptance of Torah has to be constant., as it says (Midrash Lekach Tov Devarim 6, 7) "that they should be each and every day new in your eyes as if you received them that very day from Mount Sinai."

Likewise, in the blessing on Torah, we say ... at the end, "noten haTorah" giver of the Torah in present tense, for the Torah was not given in the past but is constantly given to us afresh.

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