Va’etchanan – and he pleaded…

This second section of Deuteronomy opens, how Moses recalls how he pleaded with G-d to allow him into Israel.

Moses proceeded to describe the revelation of G-d at Mount Sinai.

“You were shown in order to know that G-d is the only deity. There is nothing other than Him.” (4:35)

By revealing His essence, which is beyond creation, G-d enabled us to transcend the limits of nature. In order to overcome life’s challenges and tests, we need only remind ourselves that “there is nothing other than Him”, ie, that nothing can constitute a real obstacle to fulfilling G-d’s intentions, since everything, in the final analysis, is part of G-d’s essence. Evoking this awareness elevates our Divine consciousness to the level of truly perceiving G-d’s essence everywhere. This in turn, serves to hasten the Messianic Redemption, when the “glory of G-d will be revealed and all flesh will see it together.”

Eikev – appreciation and love                  Shabbat weekend of 23/24 August

This third section, Moses continues his second farewell address.

“take care lest you say to yourself, ’its my own strength and the might of my hand that’s have accumulated this wealth for me.” (8:17)

Children often surpass their parents in many ways, even though they inherited their talents and abilities from their parents. The reason that children reach capabilities that their parents to not appear to have, is because these talents remained dormant in the parents and only became active in their children.

Similarly, G-d calls the Jewish People his children, he has indeed left it up to us to bring the world to completion, granting us a measure of power which He has relinquished. Thus, when we accomplish something that brings the world closer to its ultimate fulfilment, we might by mistake ascribe this accomplishment to our own power. Therefore, the Torah reminds us that just as children owe this superior powers to their parents, so should we recall that we owe this to G-d.

Re’eih – Devotion to G-d                               Shabbat weekend 30/31 August

The Fourth section, continues with Moses’ second farewell to the Jewish people.

Moses urged the Jewish people to realise that G-d gives them the choice between good and evil. Their choice will result either in a life of blessings or one of curses.

“see I set before you today a blessing and a curse…” (11:26)

A Divine curse is actually a blessing that is too great to be revealed within our limited world and must therefore be “disguised” as a curse. Our challenge is to see it in this perspective, rather than falling onto the trap of becoming angry with G-d. Thus, pain and negativity exist in order to provide us with free choice. Free choice, in turn, exits in order to enable us to earn rewards for our choices, so we need not feel unworthy of the blessings that G-d bestows upon us.

Have a wonderful Shabbat and healthy & enjoyable Summer break.