web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Writing A Book On Pesach


Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo-NEW

The articles in this column are transcriptions and adaptations of shiurim by Rav Joseph Ber Soloveitchik, zt”l. The Rav’s unique perspective on Chumash permeated many of the shiurim and lectures he presented at various venues over a 40 plus year period. His words add an important perspective that makes the Chumash in particular, and our tradition in general, vibrant and relevant to our generation.

Sippur, as in sippur yetzias Mitzrayim, comes from the same root as sofer, scribe. A scribe is not a simple writer. Sofer is used throughout Tanach to indicate a position of importance, e.g. sofrei hamelech in Megillas Esther, Ezra HaSofer. In Talmudic parlance, sofer means a talmid chacham, a scholar, who must be capable of writing.

The definition of sippur goes beyond simple oral story telling. It includes the ability to tell a story by writing it. The word sefer, book, derives from the same root, l’saper, to tell a story.

The Gemara says that Megillas Esther refers to itself first as an igeres, letter, and later as a sefer, a book. A letter has a short-term purpose. It can be written on anything, it may be incomplete yet it still conveys the gist of the story. In contrast, a sefer has permanence and transmits the story to future generations. It requires parchment and if even one letter is missing it is halachically voided. Hashem commanded Moshe to document the eternal conflict between God and Amalek in the sefer and transmit it to Joshua. This message could only be transmitted through a sefer.

A kabbalistic principle says that Hashem created the world through acts of kesiva, writing.

Chazal say the writing and inscription for the Tablets were created at twilight prior to the onset of Shabbos The Sefer Hayetzira maintains that the world was created through 3 sefarim (forms of the word saper): b’sfor, b’sippur u’besefer, through counting, relating a story and through the book. We know from the Torah that Hashem wrote the luchos, but how does the Sefer Hayetzira know that the world was created through these three forms of the word saper?

According to the Kuzari, when the Torah repeatedly mentions “Vayomer Elokim,” it is referring to the act of sippur by Hashem. The result of this sippur was the sefer, all of creation. It was the word of God that created the world and is embedded in nature and continues to drive it. At the same time, nature must obey the will of Hashem. According to the Baal Shem Tov, the word of God, the Vayomer Elokim that created everything, is as real and ongoing today as it was at the time of creation. As we say in Kiddush on Rosh Hashanah, “U’devarchah emes v’kayam la’ad” – and Your words are true and everlasting.

Chazal recognized the importance of recording events for subsequent generations to identify with, understand and appreciate what moved the author so many years before. Ours is a living history. When we read the stories of the patriarchs and the twelve tribes, we feel as if we are participating in the events unfolding before us. We cry with Joseph when he is sold into slavery and rejoice with him when he is elevated to viceroy of Egypt. We travel with Abraham as he leaves Charan for the unknown land of Canaan and our hearts skip a beat as Yaakov narrowly departs with the blessings before Esau returns. We span generations in an instant through the written word and identify with our ancestors. Educators must bring to life the stories of the Torah and motivate students to experience the story as a participant.

About the Author: Rabbi Joshua Rapps attended the Rav's shiur at RIETS from 1977 through 1981 and is a musmach of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan. He and his wife Tzipporah live in Edison, N.J. Rabbi Rapps can be contacted at ravtorah1@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Writing A Book On Pesach”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Donald Trump announces he is running for the Republican party presidential nomination.
Trump Ranks No. 2 GOP Candidate in Nationwide Poll
Latest Judaism Stories
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

800px-Gustav_Jaeger_Bileam_Engel

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

Staum-062615

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Israel’s complaining frustrated Moshe, making it increasingly hard for him to lead effectively

More Articles from Rabbi Joshua Rapps
Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo-NEW

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo-NEW

Until Korach’s rebellion, no one dared challenge Moshe’s authority.

Why did the Torah add baderch btzayschem M’mitzrayim to the command to remember the Miriam incident?

Moshe realized that the halt to their march will have major repercussions. The body that had been so carefully assembled, with a single purpose and goal, began to fray.

Why was Samson singled out as the only Shofet required to be a nazir from cradle to grave?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

There are no enemies confronting us, there are no terrorists to threaten us, and we can clearly see Hashem’s direction and guardianship of the land.

Abraham was held in the highest regard by the nations of the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/writing-a-book-on-pesach/2014/04/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: