Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Free To All

On June 30, 2008, the first Jewish Treat was posted to Jewishtreats.org. There were fewer than 50 people on the subscription list. Today, we are proud to say, over 3,400 people receive Jewish Treats in their inboxes every day, and hundreds more read Jewish Treats via links on Twitter and Facebook. The feedback that Jewish Treats has generated over the last twelve years is a source constant encouragement.

The seemingly limitless variety of topics that Jewish Treats have been able to present to our readers is not surprising, in light of the Talmudic passage in Nedarim 55a.

The sages of the Talmud comment on the verses in Numbers 21:18-19, which note the movements and travels of the Jewish people in what seem to be obscure locations: "From the wilderness [Midbar] to Mattanah; and from Mattanah to Nachaliel; and from Nachaliel to Bamot."

What could this possibly mean?

The sages explain, that when a person makes himself like the Midbar (a wilderness), which is free to all [meaning, he teaches Torah free of charge], the Torah is then presented to him as a Mattanah (a gift), as it says, "And from the Midbar to Mattanah." And once he has the Torah as a gift, God gives it to him as an Nachala (an inheritance), ["and from Mattanah to Nachaliel"] And when God gives it to him as an inheritance, he rises to greatness, for it says, "and from Nachaliel to Bamot (the heights)." 

Each time you, our dear recipients of Jewish Treats, gain new knowledge of your heritage, share something that you learned and enjoyed with others, or forward the e-mail of the day, you too are making yourselves into a wilderness, teaching the Torah to others without compensation. For this, God will gift you His Torah, and make you great.

On the occasion of our twelfth anniversary, Jewish Treats thanks you for your continued support.

This Treat was originally posted on June 30, 2011.

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