A Thought About Maoz Tzur

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  1. itatruta says:

    I agree, but achieveing this sort of balance can be difficult.

    We need strong leaders to help us know when to turn outward and when to turn inward.

  2. micha says:

    This is part of a greater question… Given a lack of strong leadership in many (most?) areas, what do we do with what we have? Not just knowing how to balance particularism and universalism, but in many many issues.


  3. yishar koahh! your explanation of the significance of the structure of the soreig is a very important point; as i heard r’ menachem leibtag make a similiar point, (paraphrased) the point of a kohein is *obviously* to help out the non-kohein, the zar; if there were no zarim, or they had no significance in the greater scheme of things, there would be no point for the kohanim.

    your hhanuka post is much more meaningful than my own hhanuka offerings this year 😛

  4. Jacob Farkas says:


    The purpose of the Kohanim of the Avodah in the Beis HaMiqdash are different from the purpose of Mamlekhes Kohanim veGoy Qadosh mentioned in Parashas Yisro.

    The Kohanim bnei Aharon were Sheluhei D’rahamana, and performed ritual services that Zarim were unable to perform (see Qedushin 23b – Yisrael la shaykhi b’Toras Qorbanos K’lal…)

    The message of Mamlekhes Qohanim veGoy Qadosh is to lead by example while pursuing a higher calling, as a nation. Much emphasis is on the Goy Qadosh, but little is done for Mamlekhes Kohanim. I have heard from many people, that our task is very specific, and that the portion of Mamlekhes Kohanim will happen m’meila, as if it were an effect of our behavior of Goy Qadosh. If so, the request of “Ve’atem Tihu Li Mamlekhes Kohanim” would be superfluous.

    I find this insight on separation without segregation to be extremely meaningful as well.

  5. I believe it was R. Y.D. Soloveitchik who maintained that the mechitza in a shul must only be 10 tefachim. What is the significance of 10 tef.? It is a halachik wall and it marks off separate r’shuyot. I believe this connects nicely to your point (i.e. we must be in a separate reshut from the amim not completely detached or unrelated).

  6. since the time of the original version of this post, i’ve read Sharansky’s new book “Defending Identity”, which makes the point that a mosaic society is healthier for the individual pieces and for the society as a whole than an assimilationist society.

  7. barzilai says:

    Thank you for the post. I never knew the connection to the Mishnah in Middos. I also quote you in a post of my own on the topic. Yasher Kochacha.

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