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Parshas Reeh

Having a Few Pairs of Glasses

The fist word of the parsha itself - re'aih - see - is the key to the entire understanding of the book of Devarim. Moshe speaks to the Jewish people not so much as to faith and belief as he does as to experience and history. Moshe asks that Israel recall all of the experiences of the desert and of Egypt. By remembering they will be able to see their responsibilities and their destiny much more clearly. Moshe speaks against wishful thinking, placing hope over reality, of the tragedy of ignoring lessons of history and those of bitter experience. So Moshe speaks not of esoteric matters but rather exhorts Israel to see clearly the realities and its relationship to God and His covenant. Moshe really states that "seeing is believing," for by seeing the world, past and present, clearly and honestly, one can thereby come to greater heights of belief and inspiration. The prophet scolded Israel by stating: "See your path in the valley; see your past immoralities." If we would only see the past and not merely acknowledge its existence in a superficial manner, how much greater our commitment to achievement and future greatness would be!

The entire book of Devarim concentrates on this weakness of sight of the Jewish people. There are those who are very near-sighted and never see past their nose. There are those who are far-sighted but because of that they are not realistic about the present. Moshe demands of Israel to be clear-sighted, balanced, farsighted and realistic all at the same time. There are aids to help us achieve this tricky goal. Therefore this week's parsha also contains the holiday cycle of the Jewish year. The holiday cycle reminds us of Egypt and the Exodus, of Sinai, and our commitment, of the sojourn in the desert and our arrival in the Holy Land. It paints for us a complete picture of the Jewish past and the Jewish future. It is a corrective lens through which we see clearly how to behave and achieve in our current world. The gift of sight is one of the wonders of the human body. The gift of spiritual and historic sight, the type of sight that Moshe speaks of in this week's parsha is also of inestimable value. We can thank God for this gift of both spiritual and physical sight by renewing our loyalty to Torah and Israel and setting our goals according to the vision of Moshe as expressed here in the book of Devarim.

Shabat Shalom.
Rabbi Berel Wein



 






ARTICLES ON REEH:

View Complete List

Who Do You Trust?
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

Opportunity for Blessing
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

See What Can Be Seen
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Let's Stick Together
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Championship Team
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

Blessings: Teaching Appreciation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Highest Form of Praise
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Constructive Destruction
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

To Hear Or To See
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

ArtScroll

Every Soldier Has His Own Job
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

Ripping At the "Seens"
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Curse of Freedom
Shlomo Katz - 5758

> The King's Children
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Don't Give It Personally
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

From Hand to Heart
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Ashrei!
Shlomo Katz - 5773



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