This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
The Four Mysteries of King Solomon
Three things are wondrous to me, and four I do not know.
Despite all the wisdom granted to [King] Solomon . . . he was mystified by the Four Kinds. As it is written: “Three things are wondrous to me” -- these are the Passover offering, matzah and maror [eaten at the Passover seder]; “and four I do not know” -- these are the Four Kinds [taken on Sukkot].
On Sukkot, the Torah commands us to take the “Four Kinds” -- the etrog (citron), lulav (an unopened frond of a date palm), hadas (myrtle twig) and aravah (willow twig).
This week's Torah reading starts with the statement "Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; may the earth hear the words of my mouth."
Two different Hebrew words are used for what, at first glance, is the same idea. Regarding the heavens, the verse says ha'azinu, literally "give ear" -- pay heed, listen up, take note, etc. Regarding the earth, the verse uses the word v'tishma, meaning "it shall hear." The commentators mention that this difference is based on the different "customers." When it comes to the heavens (from whom our expectations are naturally higher) a harsher tone is used; whereas regarding the more vulnerable earth the somewhat softer "it shall hear" is used.
G‑d Is Carrying Us
This week we read the seventh haftorah of consoling. It is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. It is read with the portion of Nitzavim (and sometimes, Nitzavim-Vayelech)
What is the connection between this haftorah and Rosh Hashanah? What message is there to be found here for the new year?
The parshah begins, “You are all standing here today before G‑d your G‑d.” The day we all stand before G‑d in judgment is Rosh Hashanah.