1. Based on a careful reading of a verse in this portion, the Rabbis comment that while the Jews are in exile, the Divine Presence (shekhina) goes into exile with them (30:2). Is it reasonable to expect that leaders suffer the same fate as their constituents? Can one make an argument that leaders protect themselves, so that they can rebuild their movement even after defeat? During the Holocaust, many Hassidic communities struggled to ensure safe passage for their Rebbes, even as the Hassidim were doomed to a sure death. Should those Rebbes have accepted the safe passage (as did many) or insisted on remaining with their followers to the end (as did others)?

  2. The Torah describes itself as being within the reach of all who seek it. Some other religions maintain a secret body of knowledge accessible only to those specially gifted and trained. Is there danger in making the knowledge available to all? Is there some information that countries, for example, deem to be too sensitive for public consumption? Should people who are essentially unlearned be empowered to make important decisions, such as, electing leaders?

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