Miracle

Unfortunately, most people only recognize the open and obvious miracles. Indeed, even while everyone continues to be in awe of the miracle of the splitting of the sea (we all saw the movie) how many people even recall the concurrent miracle-- that the Jewish people walked on dry land! That detail seems to be virtually ignored!

living torah

When Moses began to announce to the Jewish people that their freedom was imminent, the Jewish people were not so eager to believe him. As the Torah says: “They did not listen to Moses because of their fallen spirits and the difficult work.”

This past Shabbat we read the Torah portion of Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-52) but this Shabbat was much more significant than many others. That is because this past Shabbat was also “Shabbat Teshuva”, meaning “The Shabbat of Repentance” because it is the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – a Shabbat whose entire theme is that of repentance.

Moses calls upon “the heavens and earth” to serve as the everlasting witnesses and reminders of the covenant between God and the Jewish people. “I have placed before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life!”

Smiling

The cause of horrific curses mentioned in this week's Torah portion is not for any of the real bad sins that come to mind, but rather: “Because you did not serve your God with happiness while you had it good.”

This week’s Torah portion, Korach, is named after one of the biggest trouble makers of all time. Korach started a rebellion against the leadership of Moses. Of course, Moses, being the appointed leader of God, emerged victorious, while Korach and his followers were swallowed up by an earthquake.