In Parsha Haazinu Moses recites the song he scribed in the previous portion. He knows his life and his life’s work is at an end and as a parting song Moses recites words that act as an indictment of the ancient Hebrew’s sins, words that foretell punishment for future sins, and words that reassure them of Hashem’s love and redemption.
Why a song after writing down the Torah? Simple, literacy was not as prevalent then as it is today and lyrics have a way of burrowing themselves deep into the conscious mind. I often wake up humming a tune I heard the previous night or quietly sing to myself the same verse of a song over and over again throughout the day. Whether one finds having a song stuck on repeat in his/her head as annoying or not the fact he/she is conscious of those words and their meaning is important.
In Haazinu Moses is entering the final moments of his life but his love and concern for the Jewish people has not diminished. As a final act of love from one Jew to another he crafted a message that appealed to all and would not be easily forgotten. As we live our modern lives it is important for us to follow Moses’ example by communicating as equals with everyone we connect with. Moses was raised in the courts of the most powerful man in the world and spent the last forty years of his life leading a people who were once thought to be the weakest. Yes, he warned the ancient Hebrews (and every Jew) not to turn away from Hashem but he never talked down, he wrote down the Torah for scholars and spoke to the people on their level.
Jeremiah collects vinyl records and vegetarian recipes. Follow him on Twitter @circlepitbimah