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בס"ד
Social Justice in the Siddur
Source Sheet by David Schwartz
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  1. ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  2. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  3. (א) אֵלּוּ דְבָרִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם שִׁעוּר. הַפֵּאָה, וְהַבִּכּוּרִים, וְהָרֵאָיוֹן, וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים, וְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה. אֵלּוּ דְבָרִים שֶׁאָדָם אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וְהַקֶּרֶן קַיֶּמֶת לוֹ לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. כִּבּוּד אָב וָאֵם, וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים, וַהֲבָאַת שָׁלוֹם בֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, וְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה כְּנֶגֶד כֻּלָּם:

    (1) These are the things that have no measure: Peah [corner of the field which, while harvesting, must be left for the poor], Bikurim [First-fruits that must be brought to the Temple and given to the priest], the appearance-sacrifice [brought to the Temple on Pilgrimage Festivals], acts of kindness, and the study of the Torah. These are things the fruits of which a person enjoys in this world, while the principal remains for them in the World to Come: Honoring parents, acts of kindness, and making peace between one person and another. But the study of Torah is equal to them all.

  4. (ד) אֵלּוּ דְבָרִים שֶׁאָדָם אוכֵל פֵּרותֵיהֶם בָּעולָם הַזֶּה וְהַקֶּרֶן קַיֶּמֶת לו לָעולָם הַבָּא. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. כִּבּוּד אָב וָאֵם. וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים. וְהַשְׁכָּמַת בֵּית הַמִּדְרָשׁ. שַׁחֲרִית וְעַרְבִית. וְהַכְנָסַת אורְחִים. וּבִקּוּר חולִים. וְהַכְנָסַת כַּלָּה. וּלְוָיַת הַמֵּת. וְעִיּוּן תפילה. וַהֲבָאַת שָׁלום בֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרו וּבֵין אִישׁ לְאִשְׁתּו. וְתַלְמוּד תּורָה כְּנֶגֶד כֻּלָּם:

     

    These are the deeds that yield immediate fruit and continue to yield fruit in time to come: honoring parents; acts of kindness; attending the house of study punctually, morning and evening; providing hospitality; visiting the sick; helping the needy bride; attending the dead; probing the meaning of prayer; making peace between one person and another, and between husband and wife. But the study of Torah is equal to them all.

  5. 1. What do these texts have in common?

     

    2. These texts are in the siddur right at the beginning, even before Birkot Hashachar.  Why do we say them before anything else, even before putting on our tallis and tefillin?

     

    3. Some translate the last line as "And the study of Torah is most basic to them all".  Which is more important - study or action?  Why?

     

    4. How is it that certain actions "yield fruit" now and also after you die?

     

    5. What are some actions you could work into your current routine based on these texts from the siddur?


  6. ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  7. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  8. (א) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לַשּכְוִי בִינָה לְהַבְחִין בֵּין יום וּבֵין לָיְלָה.

    (ב) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. שֶׁלּא עָשנִי גּוי לנקבה: גּויָה.

    (ג) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. שֶׁלּא עָשנִי עָבֶד לנקבה: שִׁפְחָה.

    (ד) כולם אומרים. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, גברים אומרים: שֶׁלֹּא עָשַׂנִי אשָּׁה נשים אומרים: שֶׁעָשַׂנִי כִּרְצוֹנוֹ.

    יש אומרים: שעשני בצלמו


    (ה) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. פּוקֵחַ עִוְרִים.

    (ו) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. מַלְבִּישׁ עֲרֻמִּים.

    (ז) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. מַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים.

    (ח) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. זוקֵף כְּפוּפִים.

    (ט) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. רוקַע הָאָרֶץ עַל הַמָּיִם.

    (י) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. שֶׁעָשה לִּי כָּל צָרְכִּי.

    (יא) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. הַמֵּכִין מִצְעֲדֵי גָבֶר.

    (יב) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. אוזֵר יִשרָאֵל בִּגְבוּרָה.

    (יג) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. עוטֵר יִשרָאֵל בְּתִפְאָרָה.

    (יד) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. הַנּותֵן לַיָּעֵף כּחַ.

    (טו) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. הַמַּעֲבִיר שֵׁנָה מֵעֵינַי וּתְנוּמָה מֵעַפְעַפָּי.

    (1) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who gave the rooster (or mind) insight to distinguish between day and night.

    (2) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who did not make me a gentile.

    (3) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who did not make me a slave (Women say: A maidservant).

    (4) Men- Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who did not make me a woman. (Women- Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who made me according to his will.)

    Some people say: Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who made me in the Divine Image.

     

    (5) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who opens [the eyes of] the blind.

    (6) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who clothes the naked.

    (7) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who releases the bound.

    (8) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who straightens the bent.

    (9) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who placed the land on the water.

    (10) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who fulfilled all my needs for me.

    (11) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who prepares the steps of man.

    (12) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who girds Israel with courage.

    (13) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who crowns Israel with splendor.

    (14) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who gives to the weary strength.

    (15) Blessed are you, Hashem, our G-d and ruler of the world, who removes sleep from my eyes, and slumber from my pupils.

  9. ברכות ס׳ ב:ה׳
    כי שמע קול תרנגולא לימא ברוך אשר נתן לשכוי בינה להבחין בין יום ובין לילה כי פתח עיניה לימא ברוך פוקח עורים כי תריץ ויתיב לימא ברוך מתיר אסורים כי לביש לימא ברוך מלביש ערומים כי זקיף לימא ברוך זוקף כפופים כי נחית לארעא לימא ברוך רוקע הארץ על המים כי מסגי לימא ברוך המכין מצעדי גבר כי סיים מסאניה לימא ברוך שעשה לי כל צרכי כי אסר המייניה לימא ברוך אוזר ישראל בגבורה כי פריס סודרא על רישיה לימא ברוך עוטר ישראל בתפארה

    Upon hearing the sound of the rooster, one should recite: Blessed…Who gave the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night.
    Upon opening his eyes, one should recite: Blessed…Who gives sight to the blind.
    Upon sitting up straight, one should recite: Blessed…Who sets captives free.
    Upon dressing, one should recite: Blessed…Who clothes the naked, as they would sleep unclothed.
    Upon standing up straight, one should recite: Blessed…Who raises those bowed down.
    Upon descending from one’s bed to the ground, one should recite: Blessed…Who spreads the earth above the waters, in thanksgiving for the creation of solid ground upon which to walk.
    Upon walking, one should recite: Blessed…Who makes firm the steps of man.
    Upon putting on his shoes, one should recite: Blessed…Who has provided me with all I need, as shoes are a basic necessity.
    Upon putting on his belt, one should recite: Blessed…Who girds Israel with strength.
    Upon spreading a shawl upon his head, one should recite: Blessed…Who crowns Israel with glory.

  10. 1. When were the blessings of Birkot Hashachar meant to be said originally?

     

    2. Why would the rabbis want us to start our day with an attitude of gratitude?

     

    3. Which blessings resonate with you?  Which ones would resonate with the following:  Somebody with an addiction, somebody visually impaired, somebody homeless, a wounded veteran, somebody being sexually harassed, somebody whose house has flooded, somebody trying to improve the world?

     

    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of this prayer?

     

    5. What are some actions you could work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

  11. סוטה י״ד א:ג׳


    ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  12. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  13. (א) הַֽלְלוּ־יָ֡הּ הַלְלִ֥י נַ֝פְשִׁ֗י אֶת־ה' (ב) אֲהַלְלָ֣ה ה' בְּחַיָּ֑י אֲזַמְּרָ֖ה לֵֽאלֹקַ֣י בְּעוֹדִֽי׃ (ג) אַל־תִּבְטְח֥וּ בִנְדִיבִ֑ים בְּבֶן־אָדָ֓ם ׀ שֶׁ֤אֵֽין ל֥וֹ תְשׁוּעָֽה׃ (ד) תֵּצֵ֣א ר֭וּחוֹ יָשֻׁ֣ב לְאַדְמָת֑וֹ בַּיּ֥וֹם הַ֝ה֗וּא אָבְד֥וּ עֶשְׁתֹּנֹתָֽיו׃ (ה) אַשְׁרֵ֗י שֶׁ֤אֵ֣ל יַעֲקֹ֣ב בְּעֶזְר֑וֹ שִׂ֝בְר֗וֹ עַל־ה' אֱלֹקָֽיו׃ (ו) עֹשֶׂ֤ה ׀ שָׁ֘מַ֤יִם וָאָ֗רֶץ אֶת־הַיָּ֥ם וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֑ם הַשֹּׁמֵ֖ר אֱמֶ֣ת לְעוֹלָֽם׃ (ז) עֹשֶׂ֤ה מִשְׁפָּ֨ט ׀ לָעֲשׁוּקִ֗ים נֹתֵ֣ן לֶ֭חֶם לָרְעֵבִ֑ים ה' מַתִּ֥יר אֲסוּרִֽים׃ (ח) ה' ׀ פֹּ֘קֵ֤חַ עִוְרִ֗ים ה' זֹקֵ֣ף כְּפוּפִ֑ים ה' אֹהֵ֥ב צַדִּיקִֽים׃ (ט) ה' ׀ שֹׁ֘מֵ֤ר אֶת־גֵּרִ֗ים יָת֣וֹם וְאַלְמָנָ֣ה יְעוֹדֵ֑ד וְדֶ֖רֶךְ רְשָׁעִ֣ים יְעַוֵּֽת׃ (י) יִמְלֹ֤ךְ ה' ׀ לְעוֹלָ֗ם אֱלֹקַ֣יִךְ צִ֭יּוֹן לְדֹ֥ר וָדֹ֗ר הַֽלְלוּ־יָֽהּ׃
    (1) Hallelujah. Praise the LORD, O my soul! (2) I will praise the LORD all my life, sing hymns to my God while I exist. (3) Put not your trust in the great, in mortal man who cannot save. (4) His breath departs; he returns to the dust; on that day his plans come to nothing. (5) Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God, (6) maker of heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; (7) who secures justice for those who are wronged, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free; (8) The LORD restores sight to the blind; the LORD makes those who are bent stand straight; the LORD loves the righteous; (9) The LORD watches over the stranger; He gives courage to the orphan and widow, but makes the path of the wicked tortuous. (10) The LORD shall reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Hallelujah.
  14. 1. Psalm 146 is found right after Ashrei near the end of P'sukei D'zimra.  Why would it be at the end of our "warm-up" section in the morning service?

     

    2. How does G-d do the things described in verses 7 and 8?

     

    3. In verse 9, the word "ger" not only has been translated as "stranger" but also as "convert", "immigrant", "refugee".  What does it mean that G-d watches over the "ger"?

     

    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of this prayer?

     

    5. What are some actions you could work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

  15. סוטה י״ד א:ג׳


    ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  16. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  17. אַהֲבָה רַבָּה אֲהַבְתָּנוּ, ה' אֱלקֵינוּ. חֶמְלָה גְּדולָה וִיתֵרָה חָמַלְתָּ עָלֵינוּ: אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ. בַּעֲבוּר אֲבותֵינוּ שֶׁבָּטְחוּ בְךָ. וַתְּלַמְּדֵם חֻקֵּי חַיִּים כֵּן תְּחָנֵּנוּ וּתְלַמְּדֵנוּ: אָבִינוּ הָאָב הָרַחֲמָן. הַמְרַחֵם. רַחֵם עָלֵינוּ. וְתֵן בְּלִבֵּנוּ לְהָבִין וּלְהַשכִּיל. לִשְׁמעַ. לִלְמד וּלְלַמֵּד. לִשְׁמר וְלַעֲשות וּלְקַיֵּם אֶת כָּל דִּבְרֵי תַלְמוּד תּורָתֶךָ בְּאַהֲבָה: וְהָאֵר עֵינֵינוּ בְּתורָתֶךָ. וְדַבֵּק לִבֵּנוּ בְּמִצְותֶיךָ. וְיַחֵד לְבָבֵנוּ לְאַהֲבָה וּלְיִרְאָה אֶת שְׁמֶךָ. וְלא נֵבושׁ לְעולָם וָעֶד: כִּי בְשֵׁם קָדְשְׁךָ הַגָּדול וְהַנּורָא בָּטָחְנוּ. נָגִילָה וְנִשמְחָה בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ: וַהֲבִיאֵנוּ לְשָׁלום מֵאַרְבַּע כַּנְפות הָאָרֶץ. וְתולִיכֵנוּ קומְמִיּוּת לְאַרְצֵנוּ: כִּי אֵל פּועֵל יְשׁוּעות אָתָּה. וּבָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ מִכָּל עַם וְלָשׁון. וְקֵרַבְתָּנוּ לְשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדול סֶלָה בֶּאֱמֶת: לְהודות לְךָ וּלְיַחֶדְךָ בְּאַהֲבָה: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַבּוחֵר בְּעַמּו יִשרָאֵל בְּאַהֲבָה:

    [With] a great love have You loved us, Lord, our God; [with] a great and superabundant compassion have You had compassion upon us. Our Parent our Ruler - for the sake of our fathers who trusted in You and You taught them the laws of life; so [too] grace us and teach us. Our Parent the merciful Parent, the merciful One - have mercy upon us, and put into our hearts to understand and to comprehend and to listen and to study and to teach and to keep and to do and to preserve all of the words of the study of Your Torah with love. And enlighten our eyes in Your Torah, and make our heart cling to Your commandments, and unite our hearts to love and fear Your name; and may we never be embarrassed ever. Since we have trusted in Your great and awesome holy Name, let us rejoice and be gladdened by Your salvation. And bring us in peace from the four corners of the Earth, and lead us erectly to our Land; as You are God who performs salvations. And You have chosen us from among all nations and languages, and have brought us close to Your great name forever in truth, to praise You and unify You with love. Blessed are You, Lord, who chooses God's people, Israel, with love.

  18. 1. Ahava Rabba, coming right before the Shema, talks about the importance of studying and teaching.  What is our responsibility to the students and teachers in our neighborhood public schools?

     

    2. We ask G-d to bring us together from the four corners of the earth into one community.  Beyond the actions of G-d, how do we make community happen?

     

    3. The root for "love" (א.ה.ב) appears 6 times in this prayer, so clearly love is a central theme.  What are the different ways that we see love in this world?  

     

    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of this prayer?

     

    5. What are some actions you can work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

  19. סוטה י״ד א:ג׳


    ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  20. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  21. 1. What does it mean to be redeemed?

     

    2. Who needs to be redeemed in our world today?

     

    3. According to Pirkei Avot 6:6, "Whoever reports a saying in the name of one who said it brings redemption to the world".  Why?

     

    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of this prayer?

     

    5. What are some actions you can work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

  22. סוטה י״ד א:ג׳


    ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  23. (ג) עֶזְרַת אֲבותֵינוּ אַתָּה הוּא מֵעולָם. מָגֵן וּמושִׁיעַ לִבְנֵיהֶם אַחֲרֵיהֶם בְּכָל דּור וָדור. בְּרוּם עולָם מושָׁבֶךָ. וּמִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ וְצִדְקָתְךָ עַד אַפְסֵי אָרֶץ: אַשְׁרֵי אִישׁ שֶׁיִּשְׁמַע לְמִצְותֶיךָ וְתורָתְךָ וּדְבָרְךָ יָשים עַל לִבּו: אֱמֶת. אַתָּה הוּא אָדון לְעַמֶּךָ. וּמֶלֶךְ גִּבּור לָרִיב רִיבָם: אֱמֶת. אַתָּה הוּא רִאשׁון וְאַתָּה הוּא אַחֲרון. וּמִבַּלְעָדֶיךָ אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ גּואֵל וּמושִׁיעַ: מִמִּצְרַיִם גְּאַלְתָּנוּ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ. וּמִבֵּית עֲבָדִים פְּדִיתָנוּ. כָּל בְּכורֵיהֶם הָרָגְתָּ. וּבְכורְךָ גָּאָלְתָּ. וְיַם סוּף בָּקַעְתָּ. וְזֵדִים טִבַּעְתָּ. וִידִידִים הֶעֱבַרְתָּ. וַיְכַסּוּ מַיִם צָרֵיהֶם. אֶחָד מֵהֶם לא נותָר: עַל זאת שִׁבְּחוּ אֲהוּבִים וְרומְמוּ אֵל. וְנָתְנוּ יְדִידִים זְמִירות שִׁירות וְתִשְׁבָּחות. בְּרָכות וְהודָאות לְמֶּלֶךְ אֵל חַי וְקַיָּם: רָם וְנִשּא. גָּדול וְנורָא. מַשְׁפִּיל גֵּאִים. וּמַגְבִּיהַּ שְׁפָלִים. מוצִיא אֲסִירִים. וּפודֶה עֲנָוִים. וְעוזֵר דַּלִּים. וְעונֶה לְעַמּו בְּעֵת שַׁוְּעָם אֵלָיו: תְּהִלּות לְאֵל עֶלְיון. בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּמְברָךְ. משֶׁה וּבְנֵי יִשרָאֵל לְךָ עָנוּ שִׁירָה בְּשמְחָה רַבָּה. וְאָמְרוּ כֻלָּם: מִי כָמכָה בָּאֵלִים ה'. מִי כָּמכָה נֶאְדָּר בַּקּדֶשׁ. נורָא תְהִלּת. עשה פֶלֶא: שִׁירָה חֲדָשָׁה שִׁבְּחוּ גְאוּלִים לְשִׁמְךָ עַל שפַת הַיָּם. יַחַד כֻּלָּם הודוּ וְהִמְלִיכוּ וְאְָמְרוּ: ה' יִמְלךְ לְעולָם וָעֶד: צוּר יִשרָאֵל. קוּמָה בְּעֶזְרַת יִשרָאֵל. וּפְדֵה כִנְאֻמֶךָ יְהוּדָה וְיִשרָאֵל. גּאֲלֵנוּ ה' צְבָאות שְׁמו קְדושׁ יִשרָאֵל: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', גָּאַל יִשרָאֵל:

    (3) You were always the help of our ancestors, a shield for them and their children, our deliverer in every generation. Though You abide at the pinnacle of the universe, Your just decrees extend to the ends of the earth. Happy the one who obeys Your mitzvot, who takes to heart the words of Your Torah. You are, in truth, a mentor to Your people, their defender and mighty Ruler. You are first and You are last; we have no Sovereign or Redeemer but You. You rescued us from Egypt, and redeemed us from the house of bondage. The firstborn of the Egyptians were slain; Your firstborn were saved. You split the waters of the sea. The faithful You rescued; the wicked drowned. The waters engulfed Israel's enemies; not one of the arrogant remained alive. Then Your beloved sang hymns of acclamation, extolling you with psalms of adoration. They acclaimed G-d Sovereign, great and awesome Source of all blessing, the everliving G-d, exalted in all majesty. G-d humbles the proud and raises the lowly, frees the captive and redeems the meek. G-d helps the needy and answers G-d's people's call. Praises to G-d supreme, who is ever praised. Moses and the people Israel joyfully sang this song to you. "Who is like you, Adonai, among all that is worshipped! Who is, like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, working wonders!" The redeemed sang a new song for You. They sang in chorus at the shore of the sea, acclaiming Your sovereignty: "Adonai shall reign throughout all time." Rock of Israel, arise to Israel's defense. Fulfill Your promise to deliver Judah and Israel. Our Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Adonai Tz'va-ot. Praised are You, Adonai, Redeemer of the people Israel.

  24. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  25. (א) רְפָאֵנוּ ה' וְנֵרָפֵא. הושִׁיעֵנוּ וְנִוָּשֵׁעָה כִּי תְהִלָּתֵנוּ אָתָּה. וְהַעֲלֵה רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה לְכָל מַכּותֵינוּ.

    (1) Heal us, O Lord, and we shall be healed, save us and we shall be saved, for You are our praise. Bring complete healing to all our wounds,

  26. (ג) כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ רופֵא נֶאֱמָן וְרַחֲמָן אָתָּה. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', רופֵא חולֵי עַמּו יִשרָאֵל:

    (3) for You are God and King, the faithful and merciful healer. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who heals the sick of his people Israel.

  27. (א) בָּרֵךְ עָלֵינוּ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ אֶת הַשָּׁנָה הַזּאת וְאֶת כָּל מִינֵי תְבוּאָתָהּ לְטובָה. וְתֵן בקיץ - בְּרָכָה בחורף - טַל וּמָטָר לִבְרָכָה עַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וְשבְּעֵנוּ מִטּוּבָהּ. וּבָרֵךְ שְׁנָתֵנוּ כַּשָּׁנִים הַטּובות. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', מְבָרֵךְ הַשָּׁנִים:

    (1) Bless us, O Lord our God, this year and all its kinds of produce for good (From Passover to December fourth/fifth say: And give a blessing) (From December fourth/fifth to Passover say: Give dew and rain for a blessing) upon the face of the land and satisfy us with Your goodness and bless our year as the good years. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who blesses the years.

  28. (א) שים שָׁלום טובָה וּבְרָכָה. חֵן וָחֶסֶד וְרַחֲמִים עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ. בָּרְכֵנוּ אָבִינוּ כֻּלָּנוּ כְּאֶחָד בְּאור פָּנֶיךָ. כִּי בְאור פָּנֶיךָ נָתַתָּ לָּנוּ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ תּורַת חַיִּים וְאַהֲבַת חֶסֶד. וּצְדָקָה וּבְרָכָה וְרַחֲמִים וְחַיִּים וְשָׁלום. וְטוב בְּעֵינֶיךָ לְבָרֵךְ אֶת כָּל עַמְּךָ יִשרָאֵל בְּכָל עֵת וּבְכָל שָׁעָה בִּשְׁלומֶךָ:

    (1) Establish peace, goodness, blessing, grace, loving kindness and mercy upon us and upon all Israel Your people. Bless us our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your face. For in the light of Your face You gave to us, O Lord our God, the Torah of life and love of kindness and righteousness and blessing and compassion and life and peace. It is good in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel during all times and in all hours with Your peace.

  29. 1. These are three of the paragraphs from the Weekday Amidah (the healing paragraph is simply split in two to avoid the private meditation in the middle).  What at are the different ways in which people's lives might need healing?

     

    2. What does a "blessed year" look like?

     

    3. We take out the "requesting" paragraphs from the Amidah on Shabbat, but we keep the paragraph about peace.  What might be some reasons that we do this?

     

    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of these prayers?

     

    5. What are some actions you can work into your current routine based on these texts from the siddur?

  30. סוטה י״ד א:ג׳


    ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  31. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  32. (א) עָלֵינוּ לְשַׁבֵּחַ לַאֲדון הַכּל. לָתֵת גְּדֻלָּה לְיוצֵר בְּרֵאשִׁית. שֶׁלּא עָשנוּ כְּגויֵי הָאֲרָצות. וְלא שמָנוּ כְּמִשְׁפְּחות הָאֲדָמָה. שֶׁלּא שם חֶלְקֵנוּ כָּהֶם וְגורָלֵנוּ כְּכָל הֲמונָם: וַאֲנַחְנוּ כּורְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים וּמודִים לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדושׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: שֶׁהוּא נוטֶה שָׁמַיִם וְיוסֵד אָרֶץ. וּמושַׁב יְקָרו בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל. וּשְׁכִינַת עֻזּו בְּגָבְהֵי מְרומִים: הוּא אֱלקֵינוּ אֵין עוד. אֱמֶת מַלְכֵּנוּ. אֶפֶס זוּלָתו. כַּכָּתוּב בְּתורָתו. וְיָדַעְתָּ הַיּום וַהֲשֵׁבתָ אֶל לְבָבֶךָ. כִּי ה' הוּא הָאֱלקִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וְעַל הָאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת. אֵין עוד:

    (1) We rise to our duty to praise the Master of all, to acclaim the Creator. G-d made our lot unlike that of other people, assigning to us a unique destiny. We bend the knee and bow, acknowledging the Supreme Sovereign, the Holy One, exalted, who spread out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, whose glorious abode is in the loftiest heights. This is our G-d; there is no other. In truth, G-d alone is our Ruler, as it is written in the Torah: "Know this day and take it to heart that Adonai is G-d in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other."

  33. (ב) עַל כֵּן נְקַוֶּה לְּךָ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ לִרְאות מְהֵרָה בְּתִפְאֶרֶת עֻזֶּךָ. לְהַעֲבִיר גִּלּוּלִים מִן הָאָרֶץ. וְהָאֱלִילִים כָּרות יִכָּרֵתוּן. לְתַקֵּן עולָם בְּמַלְכוּת שַׁדַּי. וְכָל בְּנֵי בָשר יִקְרְאוּ בִשְׁמֶךָ לְהַפְנות אֵלֶיךָ כָּל רִשְׁעֵי אָרֶץ. יַכִּירוּ וְיֵדְעוּ כָּל יושְׁבֵי תֵבֵל. כִּי לְךָ תִּכְרַע כָּל בֶּרֶךְ. תִּשָּׁבַע כָּל לָשׁון. לְפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ יִכְרְעוּ וְיִפּלוּ. וְלִכְבוד שִׁמְךָ יְקָר יִתֵּנוּ. וִיקַבְּלוּ כֻלָּם אֶת על מַלְכוּתֶךָ. וְתִמְלךְ עֲלֵיהֶם מְהֵרָה לְעולָם וָעֶד. כִּי הַמַּלְכוּת שֶׁלְּךָ הִיא וּלְעולְמֵי עַד תִּמְלךְ בְּכָבוד. כַּכָּתוּב בְּתורָתֶךָ. ה' יִמְלךְ לְעולָם וָעֶד: וְנֶאֱמַר. וְהָיָה ה' לְמֶלֶךְ עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ. בַּיּום הַהוּא יִהְיֶה ה' אֶחָד וּשְׁמו אֶחָד:

    (2) And so we hope in You, Adonai our G-d, soon to see Your splendor: that You will sweep idolatry away so that false gods will be utterly destroyed, and that You will perfect the world under Your sovereignty so that all humanity will invoke Your name, and all the earth's wicked will return to You, repentant. Then all who live will know that to You every knee must bend, every tongue pledge loyalty. To You, Adonai, may all bow in worship. May they give honor to Your glory; may everyone accept Your dominion. Reign over all, soon and for all time. Sovereignty is Yours in glory, now and forever. Thus it is written in Your Torah: "Adonai reigns for ever and ever." Such is the prophetic assurance: "Adonai shall be acknowledged Ruler of all the earth. On that day Adonai shall be One and G-d's name One."

  34. 1. It seems that the goal of perfecting the world is to draw people closer to G-d.  What's the connection?

     

    2. What does it mean "to perfect the world under G-d's sovereignty"?

     

    3. This prayer was originally written for the Rosh Hashanah Musaf service.  Yet since the Middle Ages it has been said at the end of every service throughout the year.  Why might we say these words every time as we're about to leave davening to go out into the world?

     

    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of this prayer?

     

    5. What are some actions you can work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

  35. סוטה י״ד א:ג׳


    ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  36. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  37. (ב) על הלחם מברך:
    בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְ‑יָ אֱ‑לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ:

    (2) Praised are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

  38. 1. G-d alone does not bring forth bread from the earth - we are partners with G-d in this endeavor.  What are other ways in which we are partners with G-d?


    2. Blessings are meant to instill in us an attitude of gratitude.  We say this specific blessing to thank G-d for the bread that we are about to eat.  Working forwards or backwards in the process, how many people are involved in getting challah to your table?  (Hint: Don't forget the multiple truck drivers!)


    3. Challah is the bread of community because the loaves have to be shared by everybody.  Thinking introspectively, who would find it easy to participate in your community?  Who would have a difficult time participating in your community?


    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of this prayer?


    5. What are some actions you can work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

      

  39. סוטה י״ד א:ג׳


    ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  40. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  41. (ד) בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַזָּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּו, בְּטוּבוֹ בְּחֵן בְּחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים, הוּא נוֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל בָּשָׂר, כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ. וּבְטוּבוֹ הַגָּדוֹל תָּמִיד לֹא חָסַר לָנוּ וְאַל יֶחְסַר לָנוּ מָזוֹן לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד, בַּעֲבוּר שְׁמוֹ הַגָּדוֹל, כִּי הוּא אֵל זָן וּמְפַרְנֵס לַכֹּל וּמֵטִיב לַכֹּל וּמֵכִין מָזוֹן לְכָל בְּרִיּוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא. כָּאָמוּר, פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת יָדֶךָ וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל חַי רָצוֹן. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הַזָּן אֶת הַכֹּל:

    (4) Praised are You, Lord our G-d, Ruler of the universe, who in goodness feeds the whole world with grace, kindness, and compassion. G-d gives food to all living things, for G-d's kindness is for ever. Because of G-d's continual great goodness, we have never lacked for food, nor may we ever lack it, for the sake of G-d's great name. For G-d feeds and sustains all, does good to all, and prepares food for all of G-d's creations. Praised are You, Lord, who feeds everybody.

  42. (יט) יְראוּ אֶת ה' קְדוֹשָׁיו כִּי אֵין מַחְסוֹר לִירֵאָיו: כְּפִירִים רָשׁוּ וְרָעֵבוּ וְדוֹרְשֵׁי ה' לֹא יַחְסְרוּ כָל טוֹב: הוֹדוּ לַה' כִּי טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ: פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת יָדֶךָ וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל חַי רָצוֹן: בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר יִבְטַח בַּה' וְהָיָה ה' מִבְטַחוֹ: נַעַר הָיִיתִי גַם זָקַנְתִּי וְלֹא רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק נֶעֱזָב וְזַרְעוֹ מְבַקֶּשׁ לָחֶם: ה' עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן ה' יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם:

    (19) Revere the Lord, you who are G-d's holy ones, for those who revere G-d lack nothing. Scoffers may suffer starvation, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Praise the Lord for G-d is good; G-d's love endures for ever. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord alone. Once I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen a righteous person forsaken and allowed their children to go begging for bread. May the Lord give G-d's people strength; may the Lord bless G-d's people with peace.

  43. 1. These are the beginning and ending paragraphs of Birkat HaMazon, the blessings we say after we eat.  At the end of the first paragraph, we bless G-d "who feeds everybody".  How do you reconcile these words with the fact that there are clearly people without enough food?

     

    2. At the end of the last paragraph we say, "Once I was young and now I am old, yet I have never watched a righteous person forsaken and allowed their children to go begging for bread." ("Na'ar hayiti...")  It is offensive to say that all homeless people are bad people.  Should the words in this prayer be read descriptively or prescriptively?

     

    3. Why do you think that the words quoted in Question 2 are immediately followed by "May the Lord give G-d's people strength"?

     

    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of this prayer?

     

    5. What are some actions you can work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

  44. סוטה י״ד א:ג׳


    ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלקיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלקיך אש אוכלה הוא אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלקים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים


    And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire. He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

  45. What does this text tell us about the relationship between how G-d behaves and how we should behave?

  46. (א) הַשכִּיבֵנוּ ה' אֱלקֵינוּ לְשלום. וְהַעֲמִידֵנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ לְחַיִּים וּפְרוש עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שלומֶךָ. וְתַקְּנֵנוּ בְּעֵצָה טובָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ. וְהושיעֵנוּ מְהֵרָה לְמַעַן שמֶךָ. וְהָגֵן בַּעֲדֵנוּ: וְהָסֵר מֵעָלֵינוּ אויֵב דֶבֶר וְחֶרֶב וְרָעָב וְיָגון. וְהָסֵר שטָן מִלְפָנֵינוּ וּמֵאַחֲרֵינוּ. וּבְצֵל כְּנָפֶיךָ תַּסְתִּירֵנוּ. כִּי אֵל שומְרֵנוּ וּמַצִּילֵנוּ אָתָּה. כִּי אֵל מֶלֶךְ חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אָתָּה: וּשמור צֵאתֵנוּ וּבואֵנוּ לְחַיִים וּלְשלום מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עולָם: וּפְרוש עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שלומֶךָ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' הַפּורֵש סֻכַּת שלום עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל עַמּו יִשרָאֵל וְעַל יְרוּשלָיִם:

    (1) Help us, Lord, to lie down in peace, and awaken us again, our Sovereign, to life. Spread over us Your shelter of peace; guide us with Your good counsel. Save us because of Your mercy. Shield us from enemies and plague, from starvation, sword, and sorrow. Remove the evil forces that surround us. Shelter us in the shadow of Your wings, O G-d, who watches over us and delivers us, our gracious and merciful Ruler. Guard our coming and our going; grant us life and peace, now and always. Spread over us the shelter of Your peace. Praised are you, Lord, who spreads the shelter of peace over us, over all G-d's people Israel, and over Jerusalem.

  47. 1. This prayer is only said in the evening service.  Why do we only say it at night?  And for whom must it ring especially true?

     

    2. The Hebrew phrase for "shelter of peace" is "sukkat shalom".  Why is a sukkah invoked instead of a house?

     

    3. If you were rewriting the "Shield us from" sentence today, what would you include?

     

    4. How does Sukkah 14b inform your reading of this prayer?

     

    5. What are some actions you can work into your current routine based on this text from the siddur?

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