Thursday, 14 July 2016

First Review of Parshah in Just Two Minutes


The following review is our first review to be posted onto Amazon for my husband's new book:"Parshah in Just Two Minutes." It comes with 5 stars. We are very grateful for this review.

Full disclosure: This book was given to me as a gift by the author, with whom I have had cordial relations for years. This review is mainly for a Jewish audience but useful lessons applied to all nations.

The weekly Parshiot (individual Aliyot) are summarized in English. Each of the Five Books has a epigraph page which can serve as a leitmotif to initiate discussion. There is a useful glossary at the end that translates Hebrew terms that appear again and again.

Why do I feel Jews especially should buy this booklet? (I bought another copy to give as a gift):

1) As the author notes in the introduction, we are commanded to not let the Torah depart from our mouths, day and night. If you read the two minute chapter in English out loud, you are on a path to fulfilling that Mitzvah - Hashem will assist you on that path.

2) The book is very handy at meal times. I struggle sometimes when sitting at the dining table with young-ish children to initiate appropriate conversation & speak words of Torah while eating, in fulfillment of BeRahamim LeHayyim: "This is the table that is before G'd" (Ezekiel 41:22).

Why is it important to speak words of Torah while eating? Zohar Teruma 153 explains:
"Of a table upon which words of Torah were not spoken, it is written: "For all [such] tables are full of vomit and filth, so that there is no place clean" (Isaiah 28:8). It is forbidden to bless over such a table. What is the reason? Because there is a table, and there is a table. A table should be set above before G'd and be always ready so that words of Torah may be spoken on it and that it should include letters of the words of Torah. "

3) The author (a Rabbi) and his wife live in Eretz Israel, have devoted themselves to myriad initiatives (Mikveh, buying books for scholars, money for indigent brides, etc, check out his website 
) to perform acts of kindness. All this despite life in Eretz Israel not being easy from an economic point of view. We Jews in the Galut are commanded to assist our brethren, assisting Torah scholars especially and priests.

As a cautionary tale, remember what happened in the time of Judges, with the tribe of Dan, Michah's Teraphim idol and the Levite who went up from Bethlehem and found himself a fat livelihood as Michah's private Priest. This priest was the grandson of Moshe, Yehonasan ben Gershom ben Menasheh. He seems to have felt it necessary to hire himself out for Avoda Zarah. Why? I cite from Rav ABY from the AZAMRA institute in Jerusalem:
"So Yonasan was a Levite for whom the intended system of supporting the nation's spiritual teachers through tithes (the Levitical 'maaser') was evidently not working in Bethlehem, forcing him to go off in search of opportunities for parnassa, livelihood, wherever he could find them. This in itself is a reproof against the people of whatever time it was that this story occurred: by failing to support their teachers by the Torah system of tithes, they forced them to demean themselves and base their ministry on money, with all the attendant evils."

Support your teachers so they may not have to demean themselves for money. A lesson for all people, Jews and Gentiles.

For all these reasons, in my considered opinion, it is worthwhile to buy this booklet.

By Daniel Billar

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