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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Ha'azinu

Haazinu

384
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This song of Moshe is the song of the Jewish story. It accurately portrays the arc of Jewish history in its glorious as well as its dolorous moments. The Ramban’s comment as to the proof of the holiness and accuracy of Moshe’s prophetic words – "If someone stood and accurately foretold what would happen many centuries later, would not one in hindsight be forced to admit to the truth of that prophet and his words upon seeing the minute fulfillment of that prophecy" – certainly carries even more weight in our age, a further eight centuries removed from Ramban’s time.

Moshe calls forth the heaven and earth to bear witness to his words of prophecy, for he is aware that human logic and memory can never really be trusted. Unfortunately, memory can be dimmed and lost, and logic distorted and/or ignored. In fact it is these factors – lost memory and flawed logic – that Moshe identifies as the cause of the sins of the Jewish people and of much of the predicted travail that will accompany them throughout their history.

It is not so much that there is a rebellion against God and Torah in our current society as it is that God and Torah have simply been forgotten, erased from the Jewish consciousness – for many Jews they simply do not exist. And in such a climate of almost willful forgetfulness, certainly any attempt to convince others of the errors of their ways by the use of logic is doomed to frustrating failure.

Moshe concludes his visionary song/poem on an optimistic note. Somehow the covenantal relationship between God and Israel will remain binding and unbroken even unto the end of days. There will always be a core group of Jews who will not allow themselves – as well as others – to forget.

Events will constantly jog the Jewish memory and new generations will arise and ask: "Who are we and why are we here?" And the response to those questions can only be found in the eternal memory bank of the Jewish people and their history.

It is a very difficult task to restore memory but the fact that Moshe promises us that God and Torah will never be completely forgotten by all of the Jewish people reassures us that somehow the restoration of Jewish memory is possible and even guaranteed. And our logic will eventually not fail us as well.

We will survey our world and our situation and come to logical and holy conclusion as to what our policy and path in life should be. A nation of wisdom and insight, creativity and scholarship will not always remain illogical and foolish.

Moshe also encourages us by promising that eventually our enemies will be vanquished and shamed. Their nefarious ambitions will be thwarted and the Lord will balance all accounts with those who attempted to destroy the Jewish people. Good sense, accurate memory, strength of purpose and clarity of ideals will prevail and rule the Jewish world. Moshe’s song will continue to be heard throughout eternity.
Rabbi Dov Berl Wein
The rabbi of the "HANASI" congregation in Yerushalim, head of the Destiny foundation, former head of the OU, Rosh Yeshiva of 'sharai Tora" and rabbi of the "Beit Tora" congregation, Monsey, New York.
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