Why do we need to thank God every single minute?

The all important part of a Torah Life – gratitude and happiness.

Phil Chernofsky,

Jew prays on Mount of Olives facing Temple Mount
Jew prays on Mount of Olives facing Temple Mount
Flash 90

The Korbanot section of Shacharit ends with the B'raita of Rabi Yishmael. In it he states that there are 13 Talmudic types of d'rashot which connect the Written Word with the Oral Torah. If you are unfamiliar with "Rabi Yishmael Omeir", the previous sentence is probably hard to understand.

So here are a few examples. The Torah forbids a man to have relations with his granddaughter. The prohibition of father and daughter is not specified in the Written Word. The Oral Law teaches us that prohibition and links it to the prohibition of grandfather-granddaughter by applying a KAL VACHOMER. If grandfather and granddaughter are forbidden to each other, certainly father-daughter is forbidden.

Rosh HaShana is to be a YOM T'RU'A. That's what the pasuk in Pinchas says. What is a Yom T'ru'a? The Talmud teaches us that it is the mitzva of hearing the Shofar. It links RH to Shofar with a G'ZEIRA SHAVA. The Torah states explicitly that the Shofar is sounded on Yom Kippur of the Yovel year. The Talmudic teaching is that both the Yom Kippur of Yovel and every Rosh HaShana share the same wording - Chodesh HaSh'vii (the 7th month, Tishrei) and the word T'RU'A occurs with both. With YK of Yovel the Torah specifies that T'RU'A means the sound of the Shofar. And so it is with Rosh HaShana.

There's plenty more, but the title of this Lead Tidbit calls out for explanation. The 8th Talmudic Method goes like this: An item (mitzva) that is singled out for additional comment from its 'group', has not been singled out for itself only, but rather comes to teach us about the whole group. The prohibition of doing Melacha on Shabbat includes 39 categories of creative activity and many, many related actions.

Why then does the Torah state that one may not kindle fire on Shabbat, when that act is already prohibited by the 'group prohibition' of Melacha on Shabbat? Part of the answer is that we learn that each category stands on its own (for certain issues) from the fact that Kindling was singled out.

One more point and that we're ready for the main POINT. With the exception of Kal VaChomer, we cannot make up any of the drashot; they are part of Torah Sheb'al Peh (the Oral Law). Since I'm about to 'apply' (but not officially) #8 to a mitzva at the beginning of Ki Tavo, it is being called 'Unauthorized' and is only an idea and a suggestion - not an actual drash on the Torah.

Here goes: In Parshat Mishpatim (and again in Ki Tisa) the Torah commands us to bring Bikurim to the Beit HaMikdash. In Ki Tavo, an additional mitzva is added to bringing Bikurtim - namely, to recite a specific passage which is a reminder of our going down into Egypt, what happened there, how we were taken out by G-d to bring is to Eretz Yisrael. The Torah then tells us to be happy with all the good that G-d has given us.

If we take this idea and unofficially apply it to other mitzvot, in the spirit of #8, we can say to G-d that we are thrilled and delighted to be able to have food and say Birkat HaMazon, in which we thank G-d for taking us out of Egypt, giving us the Torah and Eretz Yisrael. Come to think of it, we don't need #8; that is part of Benching.

Okay, how about Shabbat? Aside from the positive mitzvot and prohibitions, Rabbinic rules and customs, we should also express our thanks for being Jewish and having the Shabbat. And so on and so on. And perhaps it isn't enough to just think these thoughts; we should verbalize them - especially in a family setting.




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