D'Var Torah - Shabbat Ha'azinu
Most of the parshah of Ha’azinu is a song. Moses sang this song to the Jewish people on the day he passed away, singing to them about their experiences together, rebuking them for the things they'd done wrong, and reminding them that even though G‑d gets very angry at their sins, He will always come back to His people. Here are some quotes from the song, which is called, like the Parshah itself, by its first word, Ha’azinu, "listen." Remember that because it is a song, the words are sometimes unusual, with many metaphors and figures of speech:
Reminding them of how G‑d took care of them:
"Because the Lord's portion is His people Jacob...He found them in a desert land, and in a desolate, howling wasteland. He encompassed them and bestowed understanding upon them; He protected them as the pupil of His eye. As an eagle awakens its nest, hovering over its fledglings, it spreads its wings, taking them and carrying them... So God guided them alone... He made them ride upon the high places of the earth, that they would eat the produce of the field. He let them suck honey from a rock, and oil from the mighty part of the mountain."
Rebuke and criticism:
"You forgot the [Mighty] Rock Who bore you; you forgot the God Who delivered you."
G‑d's anger at their sins:
"And the Lord saw this and became angry, provoked by His sons and daughters. And He said, "I will hide My face from them. I will see what their end will be, for they are a generation of changes; they are not [recognizable] as My children whom I have reared."
In the end, G‑d will come back to his people:
"Sing out praise, O you nations, for His people! For He will avenge the blood of His servants, inflict revenge upon His adversaries, and appease His land [and] His people."
At the end of the Parshah, G‑d tells Moses to go up the mountain of Nebo. From there, he will see the Land of Israel, but he will not be able to enter. After he sees the land, G‑d tells him, his soul will be gathered to heaven, and he will pass away.
Shabbat Shalom שבת שלום.
Rabbi David Grossman
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