Tuesday, January 17, 2012

VaEra - Derech Eretz

This week (and hopefully in coming weeks) I'm using Rav Tzadok HaCohen as the basis for the shiur.

The parsha begins with G-d telling Moshe that He only appeared to the Avot as E-l Shaddai, but He will appear to Moshe as YHVH.

The problem is that G-d appeared many times to the Avot with the name YHVH. Furthermore, He only appeared twice with the name E-l Shaddai (and never to Yitzchak).

Rav Tzadok explains that it refers to the fundamentally different relationship with G-d that the Avot had - based on Derech Eretz, compared to Moshe Rabbeinu's - based on Torah.

He discusses the meanings of the names, and the way in which the Avot kept the Torah. He explains the meaning of the concept "derech eretz kadma la-Torah" (derech eretz preceded the Torah). Derech eretz is a concept that non-Jews accept as much as Jews, and in some cases Jews can/should learn from non-Jews.

I end with a quote from Rav Kook (who was influenced by the writings of Rav Tzadok) about derech eretz (of the Zionists who built the land and State of Israel) and recognition of its importance for those who learn Torah.

If only more people in Ramat Beit Shemesh and other places would realise the importance of derech eretz and making a positive contribution to the world!

I look forward to your comments.

Here is the audio shiur (and the pdf sheets to download if you want).

Parshat VaEra- Derech Eretz preceded the Torah

(Right click and then 'download as')

Parshat VaEra- Derech Eretz preceded the Torah

Your feedback is welcome and appreciated. I would love to continue giving a shiur to this group on a weekly basis, but to do that I would need some kind of sponsorship. If anyone is interested in sponsoring a shiur (either l'ilui nishmat someone, or just for no reason) please contact me.

No comments:

Post a Comment