A TorahTutors session included study of a midrash (Sifra Kedoshim 9:12) that addresses the (or a) fundamental nature and perhaps even purpose of religious commandments, as well as more individual questions of what makes for true piety:
“Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah said: How do we know a person should not say ‘I do not want to wear shaatnez [forbidden mixtures of wool and linen]; I do not want to eat pork; I do not want to engage in forbidden relationships’ but rather ‘I want, but what can I do? My Father in heaven thus decreed upon me’? The Torah teaches: ‘And I will separate you from among the nations to Me’ [Vayikra 20:26] – one is then found to be separating from sin and accepting upon himself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven.”
This midrash offers a great deal of food for thought and discussion for students at a range of ages.
A Tuesday TorahTutors tidbit: Real Torah, from real TorahTutors sessions.