web analytics
July 3, 2015 / 16 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
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot prays at the Kotel.
Israel Tightens Security in Jerusalem, Along Southern Border
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Q-A-Klass-logo

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)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

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

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

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

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

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

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.

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.

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: