A little bit of torah to bring in Shabbat!
- From your Penn State Hillel Staff
D’var Torah–literally a “word of Torah,” a lesson or sermon interpreting a text, which can be delivered by anyone reflects a fundamental Jewish belief in the infinite interpretive possibilities of Torah. This concept is best articulated in Mishnah Avot 5:22, “Turn it and turn it; for everything is in it,” and in the rabbinic assertion that each person who stood at Sinai saw a different face of Torah (myjewishlearning.com).
D’var Torah by Alex Bolotovsky, Director of Institutional Advancement
In 1676, in a letter to Robert Hooke, Sir Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” A man of great knowledge and achievement, Newton understood that he could not have accomplished all that he has done without building on a foundation of those that came before him. He demonstrates humility and a deep appreciation of everything that came before that supported his success.
The modesty and humility that Newton exhibits in his letter is the kind of humility that we can see commanded in this week’s Torah Portion (Parshat Ekev/ Deuteronomy 7:12- 11:25).
“…12 when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,… 17 You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…”
This passage clearly reminds us that we must always be humble about our success and understand that it cannot happen in a vacuum. Whether we believe in the God of the Bible, understand God differently, or question God’s existence, we must remember that were is not for our ancestors, our teachers, our friends, our support system, and maybe some luck, we could never find success. One of the greatest thinkers in history, Sir Isaac Newton, understood this, and this week, the Torah reminds us that we must internalize this as well.
May we all find success and humility! Shabbat Shalom!
Read more at www.pennstatehillel.org/blog/divreitorah/