Tuesday, June 14, 2016

erev shavuos learning

Normally, I'm a big proponent of: NEVER, ever, ever try to teach on erev yontif.

Erev Yontif can be stressful.  There is a time crunch.  There is a lot to do.  There are huge meals, fancy meals, possibly company.  The kids in theory should be bathed ;-).  house straightened etc etc etc.  No good ever comes from feeling that you want to get that math lesson done or those couple of pesukim covered.  I sit down tense, the kids sense my mood, and it all spirals downhill from there.  Just let school go and be pleasant.

And yet I found I really wanted to carve out a half hour of my day erev Shavuos to learn some Torah with Chana.  My cooking was under control (since I was planning to do half the cooking on the chag) and it's a looooooong day.

There were a couple of things I wanted to do with her that I felt were Shavuos themed.  One was a blog post by Kol ha'Seridim which translated the Rambam's understanding of the twofold objective of Torah.  To help human beings understand truth, and for human beings to be in society/physical situation where they have the ability and peace of mind to seek truth.

We read through it and I think Chana liked it and could relate to those two things being ideal goals for mankind and to see how Torah attempts to do that.

The second thing I wanted to do with Chana was some sources on a source sheet that I got over email.  It was for a shiur that I couldn't attend because Chana and I were at a concert on palindromes and music.  It was Yirmiyahu 23:29

הֲל֨וֹא כֹ֧ה דְבָרִ֛י כָּאֵ֖שׁ נְאֻם־יְקֹוָ֑ק וּכְפַטִּ֖ישׁ יְפֹ֥צֵֽץ סָֽלַע:

that the words of Hashem are like a fire and like a hammer that splits a boulder. And the gemara Sanhedrin 34a that explains this pasuk as one pasuk having many ideas.  And the pasuk from Tehilim

אחת דבר אלהים שתים זו שמעתי

meaning that we hear one pasuk but it means many.

I've brought up many times that there is a lot of vagueness in pesukim and that words, phrases, and pesukim can have layers of meaning, more than one meaning, opposite meanings.  And that the vagueness leaves room for many interpretations.  I think it was nice for her to see that Chazal explicitly say this.  That it is part of our official Torah she'baal peh that things have more than one meaning, which leads to the richness and infinite depth and possibility in Torah.

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