Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Devarim

No Empty Matter

The last book of the Chumash differs in tone and content than the previous books of the Chumash. Most of the book concerns itself with the final oration of Moshe. This oration is a combination of history and prophecy. Moshe reviews for Israel, especially for the new younger generation that did not live through the Egyptian experience of slavery and deliverance. The telling of the story is particularly necessary in order to place their own personal lives and the campaign to conquer the Land of Israel, on which they are about to embark, in context. But Moshe speaks not only to that generation. He peers down the long corridor of Jewish history and speaks to us as well.

He warns of the difficulties that settling in the Land of Israel will bring to the Jewish people. He negates the idea that adopting the local culture, becoming part of the Middle East, will bring any peace, security or spiritual gain to the Jewish people. He senses that Israel will stray from the path of Torah to find for itself strange, new gods, attractive to the eye and politically correct to the mind. He thus accurately predicts that Israel will not be able to survive interminably as a national entity in the Land of Israel because of its rejection of Torah and its holy value system.

In Moshe’s words and tone, exile, dispersion and Jewish wandering become almost a foregone conclusion. Moshe’s warnings were not enough to forestall the eventual collapse of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in First Temple times and of Judea in the Second Temple era. The predicted disasters occurred just as he predicted that they would.

But Moshe is not ready to give up on the Jewish people. And apparently neither is God, so to speak. Eventually, the Jewish people will come to their senses and forsake all of the foreign ideologies and cultures that have so badly served them. Moshe sees “the end of days”, when Israel is oppressed, isolated and in great difficulty, that a process of return will take place. There will be a return to the Land of Israel, a return to the God of Israel and the observance of His Torah, and a return to its own vision, values and destiny.

It is not clear whether this process of return is meant to be instantaneous or will take place gradually over time and generations. But Moshe assures us that this process of return is certain and that the entire lesson of the book of Dvarim is that this panorama of Jewish history is part of God’s will, so to speak, for Israel and the world.

Because of the importance of this subject matter and its relevance to our generation and times particularly, it behooves us to listen intently and concentrate on the words of Dvarim. The process of Jewish history and eventual return is as Moshe himself states in Dvarim, “it is no empty matter”. The Torah comments upon our current situation. We will do well to hearken to its words and message during the coming weeks when Dvarim is read in the synagogue.

Shabat shalom.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Rabbi Berel Wein- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com

Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Berel Wein and Torah.org


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

“Letter to my Son Akiva” (born 10 years ago, on Erev LAG B’OMER)
Jon Erlbaum - 5771

Why Women Saved the Day
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

A Ritual Memory Transfer
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Relating the Chain of Events: Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

The Evil Son
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Thanks for Everything
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

> Pesach Questions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Maybe Next Year, in Jerusalem!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Break Free!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Exit Strategy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

A Potential Lesson
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Prisms of Light - Reflections of Shattered Glass
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

ArtScroll

To Express a Higher Yes!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Jogging Ancient Memories
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

All The Days of Your Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Service Call
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information