Welcome to the Nishma Insight Discussion Forum blog.

The NISHMA INSIGHT is our popular dvar Torah, distributed almost every week by e-mail, that touches upon an important concept in the Parsha, theme in a holiday or event in contemporary society.

Often, readers respond, via e-mail, with comments that initiate a further dialogue. Through this Discussion Forum, we now wish to open this dialogue to others. If you have a comment on the INSIGHT, we invite you place to your comments here; then we invite everyone to join the discussion.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Insight 5773-11: From Yaakov to Yisrael - Tihe Birth of Dynamic Mesora

For Vayishlach
Not yet available on the Nishma website.

Study Questions

1) The obvious question must be: why now? What was unique about the sons of Yaakov that indicated that they would be able to form this kehal goyim while this would not have been a possibility for Yitzchak and Yishmael or Yaakov and Esav? Or could it have been a possibility for the previous generations as well yet the distinction of Yaakov's sons were that they were all righteous?

2) How does this understanding of the mesora change the way you view the previous episodes in the Chumash and change the possible way you will now look at the story of Yosef?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Insight 5773-10: Hoda'ah

For Vayeitzei
Not yet available on the Nishma website.

Study Question
It would seem that pursuant to the thesis of this Insight, hoda'ah in its pristine form does not just reflect thanks, praise and wonderment but also has a factor of bewilderment, even mystery. The birth of Yehuda falls into this category for, with this birth, Leah assumes a unique position amongst the wives of Yaakov, including Rachel, as a foremother of the Jewish People. The question is why and this is a mystery and it is within this context that Leah gives hoda'ah to God -- and this is something that we thereby learn we should aspire to include in all our expressions of hoda'ah. Still, as in the case of chukim, those mitzvot which we not only don't understand but inherent can never fully understand, we are still bidden to attempt to understand this mystery -- and so the question: Why is it that Leah Immeinu -- the mother of Yehuda and Levi and the wife buried beside Yaakov -- acquired this status?