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This week's Torah portion: Don't miss it

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

Between Yom Kippur and Sukkot we are likely to miss this week's Torah portion, Ha'azinu, in which Moshe Rabbeinu continues to bid farewell to the nation with several eternal messages:

"Ask your father, and he will tell you; your elders, and they will inform you." Moshe gives counsel that after his passing the younger generation should look to the previous generation for guidance. The world does not belong only to the young, but to the experienced as well.

"And Yeshurun became fat and rebelled." Yeshurun is the nation of Israel. There is concern that, once the land of Israel is settled, the people will grow prosperous and fat and, when life is easy and comfortable, they will rebel against their historical values and identity. Moshe Rabbeinu warns them about the affluent society, about addiction to materialism and creature comforts. Wealth is a unique challenge of its own.

"For it is not an empty thing for you, for it is your life." Moshe Rabbeinu calls upon us to immerse ourselves in the Torah; otherwise it will appear empty of meaning, heaven forbid, instead of a guidebook for life. Our task is to reveal its meaning and its beauty.

These are three gems among many in a Torah portion that we could easily miss between one holiday and the next.

Shabbat shalom.


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