Parsha Page – Ha’azinu; 9/22/18

Shabbat Shalom! This week’s parsha, Ha’azinu, contains the last of Moses’ speech to the Israelites in the form of a farewell poem. He speaks of the battles the Israelites have gone through and will go through. Moses portrays God as the protector and guide of the Israelites, the Rock who holds Israel steady. Moses then describes how the Israelites will betray God and be led into exile from the land God gives them. This is continuing the theme from last week’s parsha in which Moses reminds the Israelites to be faithful to God in their new land lest they suffer consequences. He warns the Israelites against turning to the worship of other gods.

Moses then directs the Israelites to “Take to heart all the words with which I have warned you this day. Enjoin them upon your children, that they may observe faithfully all the terms of this Teaching. For this is not a trifling thing for you: it is your very life; through it you shall long endure on the land that you are to possess upon crossing the Jordan.” Through teaching the words of Torah to our children, Moses says, we will long endure on the land God gives us. God then tells Moses to ascend a mountain to view the land of Israel, which he will not be allowed to enter. There, God tells Moses, he will be gathered to his kin.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:

  1. Why is it so important for Moses that the Israelites teach Torah to their children?
  2. How does the way God is spoken of in Moses’ poem relate to your own view of God?
  3. Do you think it is fair that Moses doesn’t go into Israel? Why or why not?

ACTION ITEM:

Try it out! Come up with your own poem describing the role of God in your life. How do your views of God affect the words you use in your poem? How would you describe God as a group?