Thursday, August 4, 2011


Deutoronomy 1:1-3:22

This weeks portion begins with a recap of the last forty years, just in case they missed why they were wandering through the wilderness with their fathers and mothers and grand fathers dropping around them like flies. Moshe recounts all the events over again and reminds that only two people of that generation were the only ones allowed to enter the promised land, not even he the great teacher and prophet Moshe made it into the promised land. In a way he was saying to the children of Israel, if I cannot make it in because I disobeyed due to your forefathers grumbling take heed. Another take from the opening chapter of Devarim is that everyone knew the story very well and they were living and seeing the miracles and could see the presence of HaShem before them in the wilderness as they were wondering, they did not need a recap of the Torah. However this teaches us that the Torah is the living word of Adonai and every time we hear it no matter how many times a new facet of his word is before us and something new and exciting is before us.

We can never consider ourselves to know all of the word and think we need nothing new. Torah and His teaching should be seen as new encounter into our daily lives, as we encounter it it lights our path a new and we can see new things that need to be dealt with in our lives as we progress in our walk. In this case Moshe is doing just that reminding them of their many sins and the strong language used was in a way a rebuke to the children of Israel just before they entered the land of Canaan, (zah’or) remember the years of wandering in the wilderness. So now comes crunch time , the time where one must stand up and take ground by force. Here they are commanded to be strong and not to fear, for he had given the land and they had to fight for it to posses and subdue the land. In a way this sound very similar command that was given to Adam in the garden, take it subdue be fruit full multiply it comes full circle.

For is not different in our modern day western lifestyle, the now we live in with our mortgages and bills and lifestyle of servitude to debt, we were given a commandment to go forth preach the gospel to the nations immersing them and teaching them to keep the commandments. Our aim is the same we are to subdue the land but we are warned not to allow to be contaminated by the world, not to be part of the world. As the children of Israel were warned to make covenants with the people of the land and not partake of the idolatry of the land, well we know the story how it ended with the destruction of two temples and the diaspora of the people. Question, where are we in relation to our cross over have we committed ourselves to the good fight have we crossed over the Jordan have we left behind the wilderness of our sins and now turned to the promised land?

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