Parashat Yitro, February 11th, 2012, 18 Shvat, 5772
Dear Talmidot, Parents and Friends –
1) This week at Midreshet Moriah
2) Faculty Dvar Torah – Mrs. Neima Novetsky
3) Mazal Tov
4) Mi SheBerach
This Week at Midreshet
Tu B'Shvat higiya...and the students at Midreshet are celebrating! After their first shiur on Monday morning, we called all the girls together and surprised them with a tiyul to the beautiful Jerusalem forests. We walked a trail called The Sataf and saw blossoming almond trees, as well as other beautiful flowers and trees. We enjoyed a delicious BBQ outside at a picnic area, thanks to Ruthie, Lori and Evyatar who began to grill before we even arrived there! Although we have been grateful for the rain in January, it was nice to have a dry and pleasant day to be outside!
On Tu B'Shvat itself, Wednesday, we planted trees in a newly renovated part of the Shaarei Tzedek Hospital campus and heard from Rav Shvat about how planting trees is one of the ways in which we emulate G-d. The Torah records that He planted trees in Gan Eden, and we do the same every Tu B'Shvat. After the planting, we moved our celebration indoors for a traditional Tu B'Shvat Seder: Rav Shvat led us in readings, songs and stories and we made brachot on all of the shivat haMinim. It was a tasty way to mark the day!
See the latest photos on our website: http://midreshetmoriah.com/galleries/
Hearing is Believing
Mrs. Neima Novetsky
At the heart of Parashat Yitro lies the account of Matan Torah. This was a one-time event when every member of the nation, man, woman, and child, got to be a "navi for the day." Every individual heard Hashem speak to them directly, as He delivered the aseret hadibrot "face to face."
At least, that it how most of us imagine it.
In reality, though, not all commentators agree as to whether or not every individual actually heard all the dibrot. And, even if they heard them, not all agree that they understood what they heard.
On one end of the spectrum lies the Rambam, who suggests that during Matan Torah, Hashem was speaking only to Moshe. The rest of the nation simply overheard their conversation, and did not really distinguish the individual words being spoken. (Due to the Rambam's understanding of prophecy, that it requires preparation and practice, perfection of both mind and character, he found the concept that every member of the nation could hear the word of Hashem, unfathomable.) On the other side of the spectrum lies Ibn Ezra, who proposes that not only did we hear a full ten dibrot, were it not for the nation's fear, we would have really heard all 613 mizvot straight from Hashem. The ten dibrot were really supposed to be just the beginning of a much greater revelation.
Between these two extremes lie several middle positions. The most famous is that taken by Rashi, who suggests that Hashem had originally planned on relaying all ten dibrot directly to the nation but due to the people's fears midway, he changed his plan. The people heard the first two "face to face" but then requested that Moshe be an intermediary to relay the last eight.
Ramban explains similarly, but suggests that this was the original plan; Hashem had actually always planned that the people would hear the last eight dibrot via Moshe. But why would He do that? Though we often think that the purpose of Matan Torah was so that everyone would believe in Hashem, Ramban suggests that it had a dual purpose; it also served to teach the nation to believe in Moshe. Thus, Hashem directly relayed the first two dibrot, which speak of faith in Hashem and are the essence of everything that follows. The other eight were taught by Moshe, allowing the nation to appreciate the unique level that he was on.
As each of us goes through life, immersing ourselves in Torah and mizvot, I wish that we all merit to be like Benei Yisrael at Matan Torah, feeling so close to Hashem, as if He is speaking to us "face to face". But, also, that as we meet the inevitable challenges in life, when we are faced with things we do not understand, we are given a "Moshe" who can serve as our teacher and guide.
Dina Minsky ('08-'09,) and Michael Goldberg (from London) on the occasion of their engagement
Yhi ratzon shetivnu bayit ne'eman bYisrael
Ruthie (Staff) and Ahituv Gershinky on the birth of a grandson and Tzvi and Batsheva Gershinksy on the birth of a son
Yhi ratzon shetizku lgadlo lTorah lChupa ulMa'asim tovim. Kshem shenichnas lBrit kein yikanes lTorah lChupah ulMa'asim tovim.
Rabbi Hanoch (Faculty) and Aidel Teller on the birth of two grandchildren
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