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Letters of Strife and the Mechanism of Love

I Love You Because You are Beautiful, vs. You are Beautiful Because I Love You

40 min

Class Summary:

A debate between the Karaites and traditional Jews focused on the anomaly of the Rabbis calling the document of divorce a “get,” neglecting the biblical term for the writ of divorce (“sefer krisus”).

This class presents an explanation why it is specifically the portion discussing the daily lamb sacrifices that conveys the essence of an enduring relationship. From a spiritual and psychological perspective, these two types of offerings represent two types of sacrifice: Self-motivated sacrifice vs. complete sacrifice; conditional sacrifice vs. unconditional sacrifice.

It is this type of relationship that eliminates the possibility of divorce. Hence, it is from this offering that the Torah omits the two letters representing divorce.

Please leave your comment below!

  • SM

    Shaya Mintz -7 years ago

    Very nice Shiur. I once heard from a Talmud Chacham that perhaps the letters of Get - Gimel and Tes are Roshey taivos for "Gimmel Tefachim" which is the length that we no longer say Lavud! Lavud is a halacha L'Moshe Misinai that things which are within three tefachim are viewed as attached. 3 or more tefachim we view them as separated!

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  • M

    Moshe -11 years ago

    Get it?


    An interesting idea I happened to see:

    In the Alphabetical order, the letter Gimmel (ג) comes between Beis (ב) and Daled (ד).

    The letter Tes (ט) comes between Ches (ח) and Yud (י).

    Meaning that a 'Get' (גט) seperates the 'ביחד' (= together).

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  • DWC

    David Wieseneck cobol@pacbell. -13 years ago

    My Answers to Your Questions in the Curriculum
    1. Why did the sages name the writ of divorce “Get?”

    They called it "get" because gimmel and tet are never found together in any word in the Torah... thus the union of the two letters creates a word that should never happen; also an unpleasant animal called a Gittah.


    2. Explain the uniqueness of the two Hebrew letters Gimmel and Tes.

    They are never found together in any word of the Torah. There is no Gimmel in the section of Pinchas that specifies the daily offerings, but there is a tet in r'vit.


    3. What were the types of sacrifices and what do they represent?

    The offering that is totally consumed by fire (oleh?) The offering that is eaten by the Kohein The offering that is also eaten by the person who brings it.

    4. Are you capable of unconditional love?

    Not so much for humans anymore, no. I love my cats, and not because they make me feel special. I think they're among Hashem's most perfect creations.

    5. Have you been hurt by loving someone without expectations? How does one find the balance between selfless love and at the same time not becoming a shmateh?

    Yes and I don't know. I don't have any successful relationships and have trouble establishing boundaries because all of mine were torn down.

    6. Why do you think so many couples struggle to create a deep and enduring relationship?

    Because they feel the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

    7. When was the last time you looked at our spouse and said “What can I do for you?”
    without expecting anything in return?

    N/A

    8. When was the last time you called a friend not to ask for a favor, but just to make them smile?

    I don't usually ask for favors but I still don't call that often because I am emotionally shallow and my topics of conversation and areas of interest seem tedious to my friends.

    9. When was the last time you called your parents not out of necessity, but out of pure love?

    N/A

    10. When was the last time you entertained the notion of doing something for your friend just for his or her sake, to fill their need, without you being part of the equation at all?

    About 2 hours ago. A friend needed tzedakah.

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  • KT

    Kayo Tokyo -13 years ago

    I am rich!
    Baruch HaShem,

    Todah Rabah to your weekly shiur, my life has become very rich.

    Shalom

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  • J

    joe -13 years ago

    tes
    the 9th of av is tes as well, that when the so called get between heaven and earth happened. after gimmel: 3 weeks.

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  • A

    Admin -13 years ago

    Class Summary
    Class Summary

    Why can’t people get along today? What happened to relationships in our world? Why are so many couples struggling to find happiness together? A single commandment in the portion of Pinchas can give us at least part of the answer.

    A debate between the Karaites and traditional Jews focused on the anomaly of the Rabbis calling the document of divorce a “get,” neglecting the biblical term for the writ of divorce.

    The word “get” is spelled from two letters, Gimmel and Tes. The Vilna Gaon presented an ingenious insight about these two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, showing how they symbolize the reality of a divorce. Building on this idea, his student explained why these two letters were the only ones omitted from the portion in Pinchas dealing with the daily lamb offerings: this portion captures the essence of an enduring relationship hence it has no place for the letters of divorce.

    This class presents an explanation why it is specifically the portion discussing the daily lamb sacrifices that conveys the essence of an enduring relationship.

    There were two types of offerings brought in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. While most sacrifices were partially burnt and then partially eaten, ‘the burnt-offering,’ the Olah, had to be totally consumed by the flames of the altar. Nothing remained to be eaten. It was a sacrifice totally dedicated to G-d and the person who offered it derived no benefit from it. The daily lamb offering was an ‘Olah.’

    From a spiritual and psychological perspective, these two types of offerings represent two types of sacrifice: Self-motivated sacrifice vs. complete sacrifice; conditional sacrifice vs. unconditional sacrifice.

    You may love your spouse and make sacrifices for your spouse because of what you receive, what you expect to receive in return. You appreciate her physical and emotional qualities, you cherish your partner’s looks, wisdom, kindness or candidness, and you gain much from it. Essentially it is not the other person you love, rather it is yourself whom you love. You love that part of the other person which enriches your life.

    Then there is another form of love and loyalty, in which you transcend yourself and ask not what your friend can do for you, but what you can do for your friend. Without personal gain and self interest. To paraphrase Kennedy: Ask not what your wife can do for you; ask what you can do for your wife! Ask not what your husband can do for you; ask what you can do for your husband!

    It is this type of relationship that eliminates the possibility of divorce. Hence, it is from this offering that the Torah omits the two letters representing divorce.

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • June 28, 2010
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  • 16 Tamuz 5770
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  • 3983 views

Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein in the loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov And in merit of Yetta Alta Shula, "Aliya," Schottenstein

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