Note: The Shabbos Torah Reading is divided into 7 sections. Each section
is called an Aliya [literally: Go up] since for each Aliya, one person
"goes up" to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah Reading.
It's about time we stopped making excuses and took responsibility for who and
what we are. It's long overdue. Here we are at the threshold of a new-year
and it's all about being honest with ourselves. The degree of our commitment
to Torah and Mitzvos will be in direct proportion to how many excuses we make
for ourselves in avoiding commitment. The more the excuses, the less the
commitment. As Moshe continued his final discourse, he confronted the primary
excuses we all use in avoiding commitment and responsibility.
1st & 2nd Aliyot: Moshe presented the entire nation with the basis for our covenant with G-d. Starting with the promise to the forefathers and
stretching across 500 years of history, our relationship with G-d had been
substantiated through miracle after miracle. Yet, future generations might
deny their personal obligation to continue the relationship and its attendant
responsibilities. Therefore; Moshe made it absolutely clear that each
generation is obligated to educate their children and train them to accept the
covenant with G-d. Subsequent generation should not be able to excuse their
responsibilities for Torah and Mitzvos due to ignorance.
3rd Aliya: The next excuse Moshe confronted was the modernization of Torah. In every generation there are those who see Torah as archaic and outdated. "Only by grafting new ideas and practices to the stale practices of Torah will
Judaism continue to exist and flourish." This excuse for changing Torah's
eternal truths will result in the compromise of Torah observance, our land,
and our people.
4th & 5th Aliyot: As history will tragically prove, Moshe's warnings would be ignored. Subsequent generations would wonder about the destruction and
desolation and, in their search for answers, return to the uncompromised
truths and practices of their forefathers.
6th Aliya: As a generation of Baalei Teshuva find their way back, many will beoverwhelmed by the seemingly inaccessibility of Torah knowledge. Moshe
reassures us that Torah is accessible to all those who truly desire it.
Ignorance and a lack of opportunity for learning should never be an excuse.
7th Aliya: Finally, Moshe presented the bottom line. Endowed with free will we must choose properly. In the end, we are responsible for what happens.