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Monday, April 19, 2010

Aharei Mot and Kedoshim

The two portions of Torah we read this week have some of the most famous sayings in the Torah.  Here are some examples:

  • When you harvest your fields you shall not pick up what is accidentally left behind (19:9)
  • You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind (19:14)
  • You shall not be a bystander when something bad happens to someone else (19:16)
  • You shall love your neighbor as yourself (19:18)
  • Treat a stranger who lives with you the same way you treat everyone - remember that you were strangers in the land of Egypt (19:33-34)
  • (The land of Israel is) a land of milk and honey (19:24)
Choose one of the above quotations and explain why you think it is in the Torah.

Here is a famous story you may have heard before.  Read it and decide whether you agree with Hillel.  Be prepared to support your opinion.
in the Talmud [Shabbos 31A]. A gentile [non-Jew] approached Shammai and said to him: "Convert me but teach me the entire Torah as I stand on one foot." Shammai, feeling that he wasn't serious, chased him away. This gentile then approached Hillel with the same offer/request but was met with a very different reaction--Hillel agreed. The entire Torah on one foot that Hillel taught him was "that which you hate, don't do to others--a paraphrase of the command to love your neighbor. "That is the entire Torah," Hillel told him, "the rest is simply an explanation. Go and learn it!" (Parsha Insights, by Rabbi Yisroel Ciner)
 This week we are celebrating Earth Day.  What connection is there between any idea in this week's parashot and Earth Day?

Be sure to share your answers by commenting on this blog


  1. Our TBS Gimmel class thinks you shall love everyone as you love yourself.

    Treat others the way you want to be treated..

    Its in the Torah because it is a good deed.

    Its in the Torah because its about good things to help others. The Torah teaches us noy only to help others but to help yourself

    Its in the Torah because its important to be nice to people to make friends.

    Its a mitzvah because -- it reminds us to let people into our house like on passover.

  2. Thank you for being Torah Commentators. I hope you will continue to think about what is in the Torah and how it can help you decide how to behave in "real life".
    I look forward to reading more about what you think.

  3. Our Kitah Daled Says:

    R- You shall love your neighbor as yourself - Because you need to love so you don't hate

    S- You should be nice to people who are nice to you

    Sa- You shall not curse the deaf. It’s in the torah because it’s telling you what not to do.

    H- You shall not be a bystander - if someone gets in trouble you should help him or her

  4. Great ideas! Keep up the good work.