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.

(If you are not receiving the NISHMA INSIGHT, we invite you join our mailing/e-mail list through completing our sign-up form available at our website.)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Insight 5776-22: RESPONDING TO TORAH

For Tetzaveh

Not yet available on the Nishma website

Study Question


Friday, February 12, 2016

Insight 5776-21: Desire and Action

For Terumah

Not yet available on the Nishma website

Study Question

1) One area in which a recognition of the underlying motivations is of significance is often in our relationships with others. i have heard in the name of the Rav that in our practice of the laws bein adam l'chaveiro, amongst people, there is always the random factor of the person. As such, for example, the actual definition of honourable behaviour in regard to commands of this nature must consider the personal perceptions of what is honourable. Undertaking an act that a person would not define as honourable to him/her, even if the act is objectively presented as honourable within the halachic literature, as such, may have its limitations. This is something to consider.i

Friday, February 5, 2016

Insight 5776-20: The Mishpat of Chok

For Mishpatim

Not yet available on the Nishma website

Study Question

1) The question referred to in the Insight in regard to why Rashi mentions both Parah Adumah and honouring parents in Shemot 24:3 but only mentions the former in Shemot 15:25 is clearly a matter worth investigating. Rav Yaakov seems to maintain that the focus of the latter verse is the value of Torah study and thus the specific mention, by Rashi, of Parah Adumah. The focus of Rav Yaakov, though, is really why the gemara does not mention Parah Adumah in commenting on the former verse. He explains that the focus of this verse may have been practical laws and Parah Adumah would not have been practical yet without the Mishkan. What may be of particular interest to us, though, may be the different natures imbedded in the commands at Marah.

2) It is interesting to note that the two opinions mentioned in the Mechilta present, as examples of a chok, Shabbat and the arayot. Such classifications may be matters of further discussion. In regard to the issue of whether the arayot should be classified at a chok or mishpat, please see my Homosexuality: Is There a Unique Torah Perspective?, Nishma Update, June 1992.