Here’s a little Torah study for this week’s parasha. This week is the second week of the ‘Sheva deNechemta’ (seven weeks of consolation) which lead us from Tisha b’Av to Rosh Hashanah. So we’re getting in the mood for some ‘Teshuvah’ (repentance)!
The handout can be downloaded.
I wonder if our culture is too quick to judge – what do you think? Here’s an extract from the handout:
We do all fail in our own expectations, maybe not on the scale of the Golden Calf or Korach (or perhaps we do). And yet, central to the narrative of the Torah is the idea of a second (and even third) chance. Even God has to try again with the creation of the world – that’s the whole basis of the story of Noah. Repentance and forgiveness, the opportunity to fail and pick ourselves back up and have a second chance, is built into the Days of Awe (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur). We should only ever aspire to increase in holiness – and if with objects, how much more so with people.
I find the sentiment at the end, regarding a scholar who has forgotten his learning is very evocative. People are likened to the tablets (well, specifically in this case a Torah scholar is likened to a container for the Torah). I wonder who we let fall by the wayside who actually should sit in the ark with us (and what faults, flaws and failings do we not countenance in others, even though we should), perhaps we even treat ourselves with harsh derision. This is the Torah of Second Chances – for those around us and for ourselves.