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A Tale of Three Relationships -- Communication, Intimation and Intuition

Between Biblical Commandments, Rabbinic Instructions, and Jewish Customs

29 min

Class Summary:

The hallmark of a loving marriage is each partner’s readiness to fulfill the explicit will of their spouse. If one partner expresses a desire for something, the other will do everything in his or her power to bring about its fulfillment.

A greater love is demonstrated when each partner also strives to fulfill the implied will of the other. To the truly devoted spouse, it makes no difference if a desire has been explicitly expressed or merely hinted at—he or she will carry it out with the same devotion and commitment to the loved one’s gratification.

Finally, there are those very special marriages in which there is no need for even the merest of allusions. So deep is the bond between husband and wife that each intuitively knows what the other wants of him or her. Indeed, when two people love each other to such a degree, there is no greater joy than that experienced when one has succeeded in sensing and satisfying the other’s desire all on one’s own.

The observances of the month of Tishrei also fall into three categories. There are “biblical precepts”—commandments that are explicitly stated in the Torah. These include mitzvot such as sounding the shofar, fasting on Yom Kippur, or eating in the sukkah. There are also a number of “rabbinical mitzvot”—observances instituted by the prophets and the sages by the authority vested in them by the Torah. For example, the five prayer services held on Yom Kippur, the taking of the “Four Kinds” on all but the first day of Sukkot, and the pouring of the water on the Temple altar on each morning of Sukkot, are all rabbinical institutions.

Finally, the month of Tishrei has many minhagim or “customs,” such as eating an apple dipped in honey on the first night of Rosh HaShanah or conducting the kapparot in the wee hours of the morning on the day before Yom Kippur. The minhagim are not mandated by biblical or rabbinical law, but by force of custom: these are things that we ourselves have initiated as ways to enhance our bond with our Creator.

This class will analyze the difference between the three types of relationships and demonstrate how the relationship between the Jew and G-d is established during the month of Tishrei in the same three paradigms. It explored the three major categories of Jewish tradition: biblical instructions, rabbinic injunctions and Jewish customs.

Finally we will discover the climax of Tishrei: The dancing Hakafot on Simchat Torah, merely a custom, yet generating the most intense joy.

Please leave your comment below!

  • RA

    Reuben Armento -1 year ago

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  • Anonymous -3 years ago

    Thank you!

    Thanks Rabbi!

    I'm proud do say that my relationship to my wife belongs to the 3rd category of "Intuition"!

    I'm have ability to know exactly what my wife wants not only before she tells me, but before she even realizes that she wants it.

    In fact my intuition is so deep, 99% of the time she does even know that she wants or needs it, to the point that she always disagrees with me and tells me that I shouldn't have "done it" or "said it" or "bought it". She's truly a humble woman, true Aishet Ha'yil :)

    Shana Tova and have a wonderful year ahead! :)


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  • A

    Abe -5 years ago

    Could this be what Rashi means in parshas Ki Sisa?:


    חכמה . מַה שֶּׁאָדָם שׁוֹמֵעַ מֵאֲחֵרִים וְלָמֵד: 

    תבונה. מֵבִין דָּבָר מִלִּבּוֹ מִתּוֹךְ דְּבָרִים שֶׁלָּמַד: 

    דעת . רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ:

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  • Anonymous -5 years ago

    tale of three relationships

    Beautiful message.

    Could this be what Rashi means in parshas Ki Sisa?:

    חכמה. מַה שֶּׁאָדָם שׁוֹמֵעַ מֵאֲחֵרִים וְלָמֵד:
    תבונה. מֵבִין דָּבָר מִלִּבּוֹ מִתּוֹךְ דְּבָרִים שֶׁלָּמַד:
    דעת. רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ:

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  • D

    Degel -11 years ago

    Does this episode and its insight somehow connect with episode “Tzaraas on houses” from Parsha  Metzora?There we also deal with teshuva and how it brought great reward to the person  who could find treasure in the foundation of his/her destroyed house.

    Small children, we got candies at the beginning from Him...

    Now after three thousand years did we achieve any progress in that?   

    G-d knows us from inside and He pretty awares how hard, sometimes even unbearable it is for a person to return, to confess, to look at the ugly face of his or her mistake and correct it.

    Is that what A-mighty wants most from us? Is that what brings Him ultimate pleasure?

     Then why are we so limited with the tools to "fight the battle over these selfish, greedy, mindless and reckless temptations?"

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  • M

    mys -13 years ago

    so inspiring!
    amazing. thank you.

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  • S

    Shmueli -13 years ago

    The Beloved Fence
    To Hatan;
    Perhaps this quote from AskMoses.com will help you to understand.
    "Indeed, the Torah says1 "Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do it. You shall neither add to it, nor subtract from it."

    Maimonides writes:2

    The Rabbinical Courts maintain the right to issue decrees and forbid that which is [biblically] permitted, and these prohibitions stand for perpetuity. They are also entitled to temporarily lift Torah prohibitions.3 So what is the meaning of the Torah's prohibition: "You shall neither add to it, nor subtract from it"?

    [Rather, the intent of this prohibition is that we] not add on the words of the Torah nor subtract from them, and permanently establish [the addition or subtraction] as part of the Scriptures. This [prohibition] applies both to the Written Law as well as the Oral Tradition [transmitted to Moses on Mount Sinai].

    For example: It is written in the Torah,4 "Do not cook a kid in its mother's milk." The Oral Tradition explains that this verse forbids cooking and consuming meat and milk -- both the meat of domesticated and undomesticated animals -- but the meat of fowl may be eaten with milk according to the law of the Torah.

    If a Beth Din will arise and will permit the consumption of undomesticated animals with milk -- this is subtracting [from the words of the Torah]. If the beth din forbids the consumption of the meat of fowl [together with milk], saying that it is included in the word "kid" -- this is adding [on the words of the Torah].

    If, however, the [Beth din] says, "the meat of fowl is permitted [together with milk] according to the Torah, however we are forbidding it, and will notify the public that this is a decree which will prevent [the following catastrophe]: People might say that '[just as] meat of fowl is permitted because it is not stated explicitly in the verse, so too the undomesticated beast is permitted because it, too, is not stated explicitly.' And another might say, 'also the meat of a goat is permitted with the milk of a cow or sheep, for only a mother of the same species is mentioned.' And yet another will say, 'also the meat of a goat with goat milk which is not from its own mother is permitted, for the Torah speaks of [cooking meat in] its own mother's [milk].' Therefore we are prohibiting all meat with milk -- even meat of fowl." Such a decree is not adding on the Torah, rather it is creating a fence surrounding [and protecting] the words of the Torah.

    To summarize:

    The prohibition only applies only if a person were to come along and say that G-d told him to add another commandment to, or subtract one from, the existing 613.


    * 1. Deuteronomy 13:1.
    * 2. Laws of Rebels 2:9.
    * 3. Only the central Sanhedrin (Rabbinical Supreme Court) possessed this capability.
    * 4. Exodus 23:19.
    In addition, the message of Unity on Sukkot is not contradicted, rather it is enhanced by having Jews with many different customs. The 4 Species teach us that all kinds of Jews are necessary to do the Mitzvah, and All Jews are fit to sit in One Sukkah. Yes, it is easy to love those who are the same as you. It requires one to reach into the essence of one's soul, where there is no differentiation in order to be on the highest level of love, even all those that are different from you. May we all unite to bring Moshiach now! and celebrate Simchat Torah in the 3rd Beit Hamikdosh!

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  • H

    Hatan -13 years ago

    Don't add or subtract
    The justification for all these Rabbinic laws and "customs" (observed as laws) is seductively presented in terms of marriage relationships. While I agree with the concepts for the ideal marriage, I'd like to know how the rabbinic decrees do not violate the commandment, clearly stated at least once in Torah, not to add or subtract one iota from G-d's Torah. This presentation seems more of a way to finesse the averah of adding/subtracting to justify the power the rabbis gave/give themselves. This power is the source of much pain and disharmony amongst klal Yisrael [look at the system of rabbinic authority in Israel], which contradicts the message of achdut/ unity in the holiday of Sukkot.

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  • KT

    Kayo, Tokyo -13 years ago

    I never had Minhugim
    Baruch HaShem

    Looking back my relationships, I always wanted my partners to know what was bothering me, not knowing what was bothering them. Hence, we never had become united, nor even had deep appreciation for each other. From now on, I will try to look for what will make my friends truly happy as well as what will give HaShem a Shimchat.

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  • M

    Michal -13 years ago

    Simcha is more when you do something without ask
    Rabbi, thank you, for the great class. And it is true when somebody does something without an "order" then joy, simcha is bigger.

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  • A

    admin -13 years ago

    to #1
    We fixed the error.

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • September 27, 2010
  • |
  • 19 Tishrei 5771
  • |

In the loving memory of Naomi bas David Cohen in honor of her yartzeit on Simchas Torah.
Dedicated by David & Eda Schottenstein in the loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov, Rabbi Gavriel Noach & Rivki Holtzberg & all of the Mumbai Kedoshim

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