Parshah Devarim דְּבָרִים (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22)
Weather-beaten by a long journey through the desert, the sons of Israel who had come out of Egypt forty years prior arrived at the gates of the land that was promised to them.
The time arrived to come down from the sacred mountain and set foot on the plains of Moab, to wade across the Jordan River and to take their place in front of Jericho. The now aged Moshe, aware of the difficulties that will come, and knowing that he is among those who will not cross the river, meets for the last time with the Nation and gives his last spiritual will and testament. The introductory words are to be found in this parshah, where the emphasis is on the fatal consequences that entail the lack of confidence in Adonai´s promises.
The obstacles to come are huge walled cities and organized armies. The alternatives are safe passage or absolute eradication of the obstacles and impediments which stand in the way. The price of freedom is ensuring that there is enough ground to settle under our feet. It is not a gift: the right to the land we walk on consists precisely of the duty which we have to conquer every inch, making sure that the ground is safe and have wiped out any obstacles stood in the way.
No, we no longer inhabit paradise. Egypt has been left far behind. High above the celestial heights of Mount Horeb remain, where God spoke and meanwhile they silently listened to His law. We now turn our backs on the wilderness that has strengthened us. We have had access to the truth, now reality awaits us: peace and war, love and hate, life and death, cruelty and compassion, hunger, thirst, milk, honey… But questioning and doubting is human: How much? Will it be worth it? One reflects on it, and the only thing remaining is to fight, and then say: Oh, it is so costly!
Shabbat Shalom! ~~~~~~~ Rafael
Read the June/July 2015 newsletter from the European Union for Progressive Judaism. Click here to read and download.
Lee Torah from Around the World #282: Parashat Devarim 1:1-3:22 By: Rabbi Uri Lam – Congregação Israelita Mineira – CIM (Jewish Congregation from Minas Gerais), Brazil
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