This week’s Torah portion is a double portion and continuing in the format used for other double portions the Dvar for this week will follow the split 7 inch record format where each chapter gets its own track. So here you have it folks Circle Pit The Bimah Split EP Vol. 6.
Parsha Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 23:9 – 30:20)
1. Cousin Moishe
Parsha Nitzavim begins with Moses addressing all within the ancient Hebrew camps. This included men, women, children, and the hewers of wood and drawers of water. A lot of research has went into defining just who exactly the hewers and drawers were and why they are mentioned specifically. In the grand scheme of things its just easier to think of them as cousins, still family just not of our specific household. Even today the Jewish people have cousins some are close like Noahides and Samaritans (they are a good people and yes they actually exist). Others are a little more removed; I’m looking in your direction right now Christians, Muslims, Bahai’is; and yes we even have the eye roll cousins, I have moved my gaze in your direction Messianics; but when all is said and done the G~d of Abraham is to whom we all pray. Oh yeah, Moses also reminds us that if we stray from our Covenant we will be blotted out by Hashem personally.
2. Thunder Buddies, Thick and Thin
There is more to Nitzavim than harsh words and people blotting, well kind of. Moses continues his sermon reminding all of us that as long as we are loyal to Hashem we have nothing to worry about because anyone who fosters hatred and malice towards us Hashem will deal with. This means as long as we follow Torah and are humane to those also inhabiting this world we never have to worry about being disliked or singled out by others for whatever reason. No wonder I have so many great friends.
Parsha Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1 – 31:30)
1. MTV Make 120 Minutes a Weekly Show or Get Off The Air!
Parsha Vayelech is composed of only one chapter made up of thirty verses and yet despite being a quick read so many things seem to take place in rapid succession. Moses essentially retires and while doing so names Joshua his successor, he then writes down the Torah and presents the written word to the Levites. Hashem makes His presence known and speaks directly with Moses and Joshua warning them of the inevitable spiritual adultery the Hebrews will engage in once settled within the Promised Land. Moses then does something unique he writes a song and instead of singing he speaks the lyrics into the ears of the priests. This may seem odd at first but the song is in effect an outburst of pure genius. Remember Moses just wrote down the Torah and he is about to die meaning no more spoken word before the tribes and those about to enter the Promised Land are the nomadic children of illiterate slaves. Regardless of the time and place you live or your social status everyone remembers the lyrics to a good song.
Jeremiah@punktorah.org Twitter: @circlepitbimah