by Alan Winfield - August 14, 2015
Imagine, if you will, the scene: Moses, standing in the plains of Moab, addressing about 600,000 Israelites, and their families. (Exodus 12:37). After a 40 year sojourn across the desert, he is going to lead them into the Promised Land. The entire book of Deuteronomy (which, in Greek, means the second telling of the law) purportedly consists of a series of three dissertations by Moses, given before the conquest of Canaan.
Tonight’s Parsha, Re’eh, is the longest portion of this discourse and instructs us of many of the rules by which we live, laying out several of the principles dictating how we should behave. It includes rules of the sanctuary, kashrut, laws of mourning, and several others. But for me the most significant part of the Parsha is its preamble, “Look, this day I bring before you blessing and curse; blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord…….and curse if you…….turn away from the path that I enjoin upon you.” Look, I give you a life full of possibilities. Pay attention to them. All choices matter. Every single decision you make, even if seemingly inconsequential, can be a blessing or a curse.
Read more: Drash for Re'eh 5775
by Alan Herman - August 7, 2015
In Eikev, Moses continues his encouragement and instructions to the Israelites as they journey towards the Promised Land.
The Israelites are promised that they will be blessed in many ways if they obey the commandments they have been given.
They are instructed not to fear battle with their enemies. Moses reminds them of what was done to the Pharaoh and to Egypt.
They are told to remember the many tests and miracles presented to them during their forty years in the desert. Moses describes the beauty
and prominent attributes of the Land of Israel, "a good land, a land with streams and springs, and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat
and barley, of vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey."
Read more: Drash for Eikev 5775