Tuesday, February 26, 2008

PP2P #1 (First Edition, RARE!!!!)

Lookout... Radioactive Man! Here comes yet another guest series in Ezzie's Blog-O-Verse.

I am called Strong Bad; you may remember me from my humble beginning as Israel Baseball Correspondent. Ezzie has encouraged (needled) me to expand my role here for a while, interrupting many of our conversations with, "You should post that!" Anyways, I love a good hock, as long as there is substance at its core, and I am continuously baffled by the purported pedagogical value of Gedolim Stories.

Before I lose any more readers, allow me to welcome you to the first public edition of my Parsha Points to Ponder (PP2P). I am a big Tanach fan, which somehow makes me less religious according to Yeshiva Parameters of Frumkeit/Shtarkness, and what I like to do is present a more or less open-ended idea that will stimulate thought in the reader; I skew heavy towards p'shat, but will occasionally stray into drush.

Without further ado...

Mendelssohn, yes THAT Mendelsohn, comments, in his Biur (which was widely read and appreciated by the likes of the Netziv, amongst others) an interesting hashkafic idea. In this weeks sedra, Va'Yakhel, we learn of the connection between Sabbath and Mishkan. Traditionally, we are told that the construction of the Mishkan, while of the utmost importance, did not take primacy over the observance of Sabbath. Additionally, we see the link between observance of Sabbath and Mishkan, as those labors that constituted desecration of the Sabbath were learned from the labors done in the service of the Mishkan.
Mendelssohn points out a beautiful idea here that we see that goal of Man's labors and toils in this world should be dedicated to the service of G-D; so much so to the point that THE VERY definition of labor was defined according to Service in the Mishkan, as it represented the pinnacle of Man's labor.

I realize this is VERY drush-y, but I liked it and it gets bonus points for the shock value achieved when citing Mendelssohn.


  1. 1:00 on tuesday's is bible. That's my time to post, but I had nothing today so it's ok.

    Nice vort

  2. Well, we all used up most of our Mishkan ideas in the previous weeks' sedras, right? So, I had to reach a little this time.

  3. Teeeeeeen girrrrrl squaaaaaaaaaad!!

    Very nice d'var Torah.

  4. This is interesting. It is in line with something I read in Chovos Halevavos by Rabeinu Bachye, yes THAT Rabeinu Bachye. Just to be brief he says that any action you do can be chategorized as either a mitzvah or an aveirah. Things like shaking one's lulav or stealing are obvious. The more 'parve' actions, like brushing one's teef, or goin' for a swim are a little harder to understand how they are chategorized as mitzvos/aveiros. The basic idea is that any action that strengthen's one's avodas hashem is a mitzvah and any action that doesn't is an aveirah.
    - Sha'ar Avodas Ha'elokim