July 2022

The Holy War of Love

Parashat Matto — Numbers 30:2-32:42

At the turn of the 20th century, the fifth Rabbi of Chabad, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn—the Rashab—developed a teaching based on a few small and seemingly insignificant verses from this week’s Torah portion. He eventually published this teaching in a booklet entitled, Heichaltzu. The focus of the entire teaching was on love toward one’s fellow and was eventually republished in English under the title, Ahavat Israel: A Path to True Unity. Oddly enough, the premise of the entire work is founded on the following passage:

Adding To The Scriptures?

Parashat Mattot-Massei: Numbers 30:2-36:13

Many people take objection to the concept of rabbinic authority and the corpus of Jewish law, which includes the Mishnah and Talmud. They see these rabbinic works as “adding” manmade laws to the Scriptures, because indeed they contain countless laws that do not seem to appear in the Scriptures themselves. Therefore, these rabbinic works are seen as violating one of the primary principles of Scripture, to not add to the Scripture. The prooftext for this prohibition is found in Deuteronomy: