Haazinu- weekly Torah portion

We have almost completed the yearlong cycle, reading the one before last weekly portions of the Torah. Moses calls, “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.” He is talking to the Israelites but understands that those standing before him will perish sooner or later, just like he will. They are there today but their day of departure from the world will arrive to each and every one of them. It will be the heavens and earth that will be there forever to echo his words. He counts on that worldly stage to be the platform for his final words. In actuality he takes notice that people do not really listen and predicts, “You are grown fat, thick, and sleek—

Vayelech- weekly Torah portion

Aesop fable of the fox and the crow is well known. It was later adapted by the Frenchman La Fontaine as well as the Russian Krylov, who published their own versions of the fable. For those who do not recall it goes something like this: one day the crow caught in his beak a nice slice of cheese. A fox, that happened to pass by, smelled the cheese and fancied it. The crow was high on the tree top and the fox firm on the ground. Therefore the fox uses some sweet talk and flatters the crow, “crow, oh crow, let me hear your beautiful song”. The crow, not really known for its musical qualities falls for the flattery, and begins singing. The piece of cheese falls to the ground just to be devoured b

Nitzavim- weekly Torah portion

In the choice between tragedy and destiny as opposed to control and opportunity Judaism provides us with a clear answer. This week’s portion of the Torah says it simply and clearly. They are laid out before us and we must make sound choices, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity… So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants”. We have been given the opportunity to continuously make choices between good and bad, right and wrong, and the responsibility of this process is all upon us. It is not an uncontrolled and uninfluenced destiny that we face. It may be a tough and demanding struggle but we can and are expected to control it. A

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