Below is a collection of Parashat Re’eh resources created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.
This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at email@example.com if you didn’t find what you’re looking for.
DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Question #1: In Parashat Re’eh we read about bringing sacrifices to the place that God chooses, which we understand to be the Temple to be built in the future in Jerusalem. There is an additional mitzvah that appears three times. Did you know that it is a mitzvah to be happy? What do you think is special about being happy with everything God has blessed you? Did you notice that happiness is to be shared with children, servants and the Levites? Why do you think the Torah makes a point of sharing happiness (especially with this list)?
Look inside the text:
וַאֲכַלְתֶּם שָׁם לִפְנֵי ה’ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם בְּכֹל מִשְׁלַח יֶדְכֶם אַתֶּם וּבָתֵּיכֶם אֲשֶׁר בֵּרַכְךָ ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ – Together with your households, you shall feast there before God, happy in all the undertakings in which God has blessed you.
2. Devarim 12:12
וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם לִפְנֵי ה’ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם אַתֶּם וּבְנֵיכֶם וּבְנֹתֵיכֶם וְעַבְדֵיכֶם וְאַמְהֹתֵיכֶם וְהַלֵּוִי אֲשֶׁר בְּשַׁעֲרֵיכֶם כִּי אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק וְנַחֲלָה – And you shall rejoice before God with your sons and daughters and with your male and female slaves, along with the Levite in your settlements, for he has no territorial allotment among you.
3. Devarim 12:18
כִּי אִם לִפְנֵי ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ תֹּאכֲלֶנּוּ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ וְעַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתֶךָ וְהַלֵּוִי אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ וְשָׂמַחְתָּ לִפְנֵי ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל מִשְׁלַח יָדֶךָ – These you must consume before God in the place that God will choose—you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves, and the Levite in your settlements—happy before God in all your undertakings.
Question #2: In this week’s parasha, God describes His relationship with us as a parent to a child. What does it mean when God calls us His children? What does this indicate about his relationship with us even when we don’t obey the law? What is different between the relationship of a parent to a child and a teacher to a child?
Look inside the text (Devarim 14:1),
בָּנִים אַתֶּם לַה’ אֱלֹהֵיכֶם – You are like sons to your God
Question #3: We are used to non-centralized religion. Each community has a synagogue, a Rabbi, a school that is attuned to its needs. The ideal set out in the Torah is one in which worship is centralized in a single place. What do we gain by having a centralized place of worship? What do we lose? Is there a way to maximize the best of both approaches?
Question #4: We are commanded to follow the direction of a prophet but forbidden from listening to false prophets, even when they produce miracles to prove their position. The difference between a false prophet and a true one is that the words of the genuine prophet come true while the predictions of the false one do not. This presents us with a problem – the only way to know if someone is a true prophet or a false one is to wait and see if their predictions come true, but by then it is too late! How can we decide who to listen to when they first give us their message? The same could be said for any religious leader. They represent many different opinions – how do we know which ones to follow?