Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • D'varim
To dedicate this lesson

Parshat Devarim


From "Aloh Na'aleh"

Av 5768
Parshat Devarim, as well as Sefer Devarim, is Moshe Rabbeinu’s final address to the Israelites. At that time they were encamped at the shores of the Yarden River preparing for the invasion into Canaan . Moshe Rabbeinu uses this opportunity to include the review of major events and episodes in their past, as well as his criticism of Israel’s sins.

One of the historic references is the story of the Meraglim. Moshe Rabbeinu declared "Then all of you came to me and said, "Let us send men ahead to explore the land…..I approved of the plan." (Devarim 1:22-23) What need was there for Moshe Rabbeinu to agree to the suggestion? Hashem had promised them that He would give them the land. The Israelites should have simply relied on Him to lead them to victory.

In response to the question of why Moshe Rabbeinu supported the sending of scouts, the Ramban contributes a far reaching insight. Moshe Rabbeinu agreed, because it was the right thing to do. In Yahadut, we are taught not to rely solely on miracles. Emunah in Hashem must not preclude our obligation to do whatever is in our power to confront all challenges. We can not sit back and wait for the miracle to occur. We must initiate the process by girding ourselves with courage and attempt to devise the means to reach our goal, in the spirit of the adage, "G-d helps those that help themselves."

The rebirth of Eretz Yisroel is a case in point. Were it not for the faith in their Jewish destiny and the initiative to rebuild the homeland, no miracle would have taken place. Today we agree that the very existence of the state is a miracle. The miracle came about because the Jews initiated the process. Those who have made aliya, live the miracle daily. If we rip away the cobwebs of negativism, we can clearly see the miracle of Israel ’s existence. Coming on aliya is an expression of deep faith in one’s Jewish destiny and in Hashem’s special relationship with Israel in Eretz Yisrael.
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