Category Archives: Deuteronomy/Devarim

A Brief Note on the Torah – Parsha Vayelech

Sforno adopts a heroic viewpoint in his interpretation of the events described in the opening scene of Parsha Vayelech. He envisions a triumphant Moses sallying forth into the encampment, with Joshua, his anointed successor at his side. To emphasize the transition in … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on Tone and Substance – Parsha Nitzavim

Great orations survive long after their utterer’s death because they convey a fundamental message in a concise manner that is timeless and its inspiration cuts between the planes of time. Lincoln at Gettysburg offered reason for the deaths of so … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on Political Theory – Parsha Devarim

One of the most stirring and memorable messages of Sefer Devarim is found in this week’s Torah reading, Parsha Shofetim. The Parsha continues the record of the last lessons that Moses imparted to the Children of Israel. Here, Moses spoke to … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on the Jew and Society

Parsha Re’eh continues the record of Moses’ final teachings to the Children of Israel. He approaches a number of discrete topics. Some are esoteric – for example, the laws of redeemed offerings and consecrated meat. Other of the teachings remain central … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on the Power of Words – Parasha Devarim

The Children of Israel were encamped on the Plains of Moab, pasturing their flocks, having completed a victorious military campaign. Their goal of the Promised Land lay just beyond the horizon. It was winter; no doubt cold and rainy. Further … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on a Greek Bearing Gifts – Parsha Balak

The Torah’s gaze leaves the Children of Israel, who are busy fighting their way to the Promised Lands and records a story that took place away from the Israelites’ camp and presumably without their knowledge. It’s the first time that … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on the Probability of a Possibility – Parsha Korach

The Children of Israel had reached their nadir. They faced a horrible fate; death in the desert. They would never see the land they had dreamed of since Moses had led them out of slavery. They were full of despair, … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on an All to Familiar Dialogue – Parsha Behaalotecha

The Torah, beginning from the Book of Exodus, is the story of the budding relationships that developed between God and His People, the Children of Israel. It is a tense dynamic, fractured and fractious. The Israelites are only months removed … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on a Gift to the Jews – Parsha Ha’azinu

Parsha Ha’azinu records the song that God had commanded Moses to teach to the Israelites; a song which would be for God “a witness against the Children of Israel”. This is the second of two songs of the Torah. The first was … Continue reading

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A Brief Note on a Legacy, Deferred – Parsha Nitzavim and Parsha Vayelech

Parsha Nitzavim and Parsha Vayelech, which are read in tandem this week, complete the series of discourses delivered by Moses to the Children of Israel, as they camped on the threshold of the Promised Lands. 

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