Lessons from MetLife Stadium
1 א

Mark Twain, Concerning The Jews, Harper's Magazine, March, 1898

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent. of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.

He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?


אביי אמר כדתניא (דברים ו, ה) ואהבת את ה' אלקיך שיהא שם שמים מתאהב על ידך.

שיהא קורא ושונה ומשמש ת"ח ויהא משאו ומתנו בנחת עם הבריות מה הבריות אומרות עליו אשרי אביו שלמדו תורה אשרי רבו שלמדו תורה אוי להם לבריות שלא למדו תורה פלוני שלמדו תורה ראו כמה נאים דרכיו כמה מתוקנים מעשיו עליו הכתוב אומר (ישעיהו מט, ג) ויאמר לי עבדי אתה ישראל אשר בך אתפאר.

Abaye said: As it was taught in a baraita that it is stated: “And you shall love the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 6:5), which means that you shall make the name of Heaven beloved.

How should one do so? One should do so in that he should read Torah, and learn Mishna, and serve Torah scholars, and he should be pleasant with people in his business transactions. What do people say about such a person? Fortunate is his father who taught him Torah, fortunate is his teacher who taught him Torah, woe to the people who have not studied Torah. So-and-so, who taught him Torah, see how pleasant are his ways, how proper are his deeds. The verse states about him and others like him: “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3).


(א) היא שצונו באהבתו יתעלה.

וכבר בארנו שזאת המצוה גם כן כוללת שנהיה קוראים לבני האדם כולם לעבודתו יתעלה ולהאמין בו, וזה שאתה כשתאהב איש אחד תספר בשבחיו ותרבה בהם ותקרא בני האדם לאהוב אותו וזה עד"מ כן בשתאהב אותו יתעלה באמת כאשר הגיע לך מהשגת אמתתו אתה קורא בלי ספק הסכלים והפתיים לדעת ידיעת האמת אשר ידעתו. ולשון ספרי ואהבת את ה' אהבהו על הבריות כאברהם אביך שנאמר ואת הנפש אשר עשו בחרן.

(1) The 3rd mitzva is that we are commanded to love G‑d...

Our Sages also said that this mitzvah includes calling out to all mankind to serve G‑d (exalted be He) and to believe in Him. This is because when you love a person, for example, you praise him and call out to others to draw close to him. So too, if you truly love G‑d — through your understanding and realization of His true existence — you will certainly spread this true knowledge that you know to the ignorant and the foolish.[We see that this mitzvah includes spreading love for G‑d to others from] the Sifri: " 'You shall love G‑d,' i.e. make Him beloved among the creatures as your father Avraham did, as it is written, 'The souls that he made in Charan.'

5 ה
(יא) כִּ֚י הַמִּצְוָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם לֹֽא־נִפְלֵ֥את הִוא֙ מִמְּךָ֔ וְלֹ֥א רְחֹקָ֖ה הִֽוא׃ (יב) לֹ֥א בַשָּׁמַ֖יִם הִ֑וא לֵאמֹ֗ר מִ֣י יַעֲלֶה־לָּ֤נוּ הַשָּׁמַ֙יְמָה֙ וְיִקָּחֶ֣הָ לָּ֔נוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵ֥נוּ אֹתָ֖הּ וְנַעֲשֶֽׂנָּה׃ (יג) וְלֹֽא־מֵעֵ֥בֶר לַיָּ֖ם הִ֑וא לֵאמֹ֗ר מִ֣י יַעֲבָר־לָ֜נוּ אֶל־עֵ֤בֶר הַיָּם֙ וְיִקָּחֶ֣הָ לָּ֔נוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵ֥נוּ אֹתָ֖הּ וְנַעֲשֶֽׂנָּה׃ (יד) כִּֽי־קָר֥וֹב אֵלֶ֛יךָ הַדָּבָ֖ר מְאֹ֑ד בְּפִ֥יךָ וּבִֽלְבָבְךָ֖ לַעֲשֹׂתֽוֹ׃ (ס)

(11) Surely, this Instruction which I command you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. (12) It is not in the heavens, that you should say, “Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and teach it to us, that we may observe it?” (13) Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and teach it to us, that we may observe it?” (14) No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.


העמק דבר לנצי״ב

קאי על הפרשה הקודמת דמסיים בשתי מצוות, היינו עיון תורה ודקדוק בה, ובתשובה מאהבת ה׳, ועל זה קאי ״כי המצוה הזאת״.

Ha-Emek Davar, R. Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin

It is referring to the previous section, which concludes with two mitzvot, namely deep study of Torah, and repentance out of love of Hashem - and it is about these that the Torah says, "For this mitzvah..."