Devarim, or more commonly referred to as Deuteronomy here in the west, is the first portion of the final book in the Torah. Just under forty years have passed since Moses implored Pharaoh to let his people go and during that time miracles were witnessed, battles were fought and won, the Torah was birthed on Sinai, and excluding Moses everyone old enough to remember slavery in Egypt is . . . .well. . .dead. It should not come as a surprise that this week’s Parsha consists of Moses recounting the history of a forty year old nation to the next generation of Jews.
Moses knows his time is almost up and Devarim the parsha and the book exemplify this. Moses knows the importance of history and law and Hashem allows him another opportunity to dictate Halakah. Want a short version or just the gist of the core of Judaism? Read Devarim from start to finish.
I have a confession to make I have struggled with this week’s Torah portion, not because I was too busy with life or because of a moral connundrum but because I am suffering from a bad case of writer’s block. I had hoped to grind out five to six paragraphs for a Dvar by last Friday and here I am on the following Tuesday right on schedule and still scratching my proverbial head. Devarim should have been an “easy” one for me because of the diplomatic approach taken by Moses and the rest of the tribe as they traveled through other kingdoms peacefully. I am not motivated by fear but by logic and diplomacy and there is a very real lesson here on respecting others and having a dialogue with your neighbors.
Open, honest, and fair dialogue requires equal participation from all parties and maybe that is why I am afflicted with writer’s block. Whatever the reason Moses’s talk in Devarim shows how much he and the ancient Hebrews have matured over the past forty years. A new generation of Jews are about to settle in the promised land and with that are hopes of peace and prosperity.
Lets start a dialogue comment below or message me: Jeremiah@punktorah.org Twitter: @circlepitbimah