Friday, May 3
- 07:25 pm – Mincha
- 07:28 pm – Candle lighting
Saturday, May 4
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:08 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 10:45 am – Toddler Group
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- TBA – B’nos
- 04:30 pm – Ladies’ Class: Laws of Mukzteh
- 06:00 pm – Men’s Class: Nefesh HaChaim
- 07:00 pm – Mincha and Se’udah Shlishit
- 08:25 pm – Ma’ariv
- 08:38 pm – Shabbat Ends
May 5 – 10
- 08:00 am – Sunday
- 06:40 am – Monday, Thursday, and Friday (Rosh Chodesh)
- 06:50 am – Tuesday and Wednesday
- 07:35 pm – Sunday – Friday
- 08:05 pm – Sunday – Thursday
To print this schedule, click here to go directly to the post, and then press ctrl-P (Windows) or cmd-P (Mac) to print it.
Weekly Words of Torah
A Broad Outlook
Insights into Parshat Behar/Bechukotai of Mr. David Freilich of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
The end of Parshat Behar discusses the laws regarding the ownership of slaves. The passuk, when it brings up inheritance of slaves, tells us “והתנחלתם אתם לבניכם אחריכם לרשת אחזה..,” “You shall keep them in your possession for your sons after you to inherit as a possession…” The gemara in a few places (see, for instance, קידושין כב:and מגילה כג:) uses this passuk as the source for the idea of “עבד איתקיש לקרקעות”, the idea that some of the laws of slavery are related to those of land ownership. However, as Rashi in קידושין (ז. ד”ה שיש להן אחריות) points out, this connection isn’t restricted to just slaves – rather, “אדם הוקש לקרקעות”, Man in general is connected in some sense to land.
This idea, of a connection of some sort between man and land, isn’t just restricted to a Rashi in קידושין; rather, it seen by some in a passuk in דברים (כ:יט), when it exclaims rhetorically, “כי האדם עץ השדה”, “The tree of the field [is] a man.” While the passuk was just adding strength to the law it just mentioned (that of not chopping down trees wastefully when in war, by saying that there is no need to needlessly chop down trees given that they aren’t enemy combatants), many Ba’alei Machshava stop the passuk there, seeing the passuk to be pointing to a connection between man and trees specifically. What is the idea contained behind this connection?
Rav Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the Alter Rebbe of Chabad (quoted in חומש פניני החסידות דברים עמ’ רה), saw within this connection a hint to man’s basic purpose – that of being productive, not just for oneself, but rather for the כלל as a whole. A fruit tree is the paradigmatic example of something that produces something worthwhile, something fantastically sweet, and isn’t shy sharing it; rather, the tree “recognizes” the connection it has to the כלל, and gives of its time and effort to “help the cause”, giving freely of its fruit.
It may be possible to deepen the connection, however, and endeavor to find deeper roots for this connection.
Rav Soloveitchik, as quoted in מפניני הרב (עמ’ שט), pointed to the fact that a tree, beyond its trunk (the mainstay of the tree), has two additional components – its roots, as well as its foliage. Every tree has deep roots that connect it to the ground, as well as foliage of some sort, both of which are crucial to the existence of the tree. It is possible to explain homiletically, he suggests, that the roots and foliage may be referring to two ingredients crucial for a man’s life – an acute recognition of both the past and the future, to realize and connect to what came before him and to prepare for the future generations. As members of כלל ישראל, the nation chosen by G-d as His emissaries to the world, we must recognize that we don’t exist within a vacuum, and that we must not live within a vacuum, but rather recognize that we are only here as a result of the efforts of the past, and must endeavor to leave the world a better place for those who will come after us, the future generations of כלל ישראל.
It is only through a recognition of both of these that we can truly be considered members of כלל ישראל – only through a recognition of the past, what we as a nation have been through, as well as appreciation for what is yet to come, for the future generations. As Rav Schachter put it (in נפש הרב עמ’ נ”א), “For the Torah outlook, the past has not yet passed, and the future already recognizable.” What we do in life has importance, not just with regards to how it affects us, but rather with regards to how it reflects on the past, and will reflect on the future. As Jews, we aren’t free to do whatever we want – but we can feel proud knowing that what we do matters and will always matter.