Dvar Torah

Originally published on May 31, 2011 on the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's blog:
Adapted for Hazon from Daniel's piece for AJWS. Discusses the challenge of the "righteous" descriptor used to describe Noah and the complications of this description.

Offline Source Sheet

This is one lesson from the Big Green Jewish Edible garden resource for Key Stage 2 (Late Elementary) ( Fusing Jewish texts, secular curriculum and hands on gardening, this resource inspires young people to understand the process of producing fresh fruit and vegetables and encourages them to eat healthily and sustainably


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Mind well the looks of your flock; pay attention to your herds; for property does not last forever, or a crown for all generations. Grass vanishes, new grass appears, and the herbage of the hills is gathered in.
[JPS translation]

יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע פְּנֵי צֹאנֶךָ שִׁית לִבְּךָ לַעֲדָרִים:
(כד) כִּי לֹא לְעוֹלָם חֹסֶן וְאִם נֵזֶר לְדוֹר דור וָדוֹר:
(כה) גָּלָה חָצִיר וְנִרְאָה דֶשֶׁא וְנֶאֶסְפוּ עִשְּׂבוֹת הָרִים:

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The sages said there that tzedakah is equal to all the commandments, etc. - see there. And “greater is one who causes to do;” that is to say, that one who collects tzedakah from others as well is greater than one who alone does tzedakah, as it says: “And the collecting of...[tzedakah] shall be peace, and the effect of...[tzedakah] quiet and confidence forever.” [Translation by Rabbi Bruce Elder. Edited for gender neutrality]

ואמרו חז"ל שם שקולה צדקה נגד כל המצות וכו' ע"ש וגדול המעשה כלומר שמאסף צדקה גם מאחרים יותר מן העושה צדקה לעצמו שנאמר והיה מעשה הצדקה שלום ועבודת הצדקה השקט ובטח עד עולם [ישעיה לב, יז]

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