parshat Dvarim

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A Shiur by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks for the weekly Torah reading of Devarim.
  • Why Are There So Many Jewish Lawyers?
    At the beginning of the book of Devarim, Moses reviews the history of the Israelites’ experience in the wilderness, starting with the appointment of leaders throughout the people, heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.
  • Making Aliyah Is a Matter of Will-Power
    In this week's Torah portion, which we read every year just before the fast of Tisha B'Av, Moshe Rabbeinu reminds Israel that they 'didn't want to' enter the Land of Israel, following the Sin of the Spies. Bnei Yisrael did not see it that way: 'How can we go up [to the Land]?' they said, as if to say that it was not within their ability to do so.
  • The Leader as Teacher
    By the end of the book of Bamidbar, Moses’ career as a leader would seem to be ending. It is what Moses did next that bears the mark of greatness.
  • Recalling Past Events
    There is no need to reconcile the two apparent differing descriptions of the same Torah event. We know that human beings can never really be truly objective. As such, we can never claim objectivity in recalling past events and describing them for later generations.
  • Redemption Is "Fast" Approaching
    Devarim begins a new Sefer, the last of the Chumash. It represents Moshe’s final “sermon” to his nation, just weeks before he will die on his 120th birthday. This Sedra MUST always read on the Shabbat preceding Tisha B’Av. Why?
  • Why Are There No Plishtim in Sefer Devarim?
    The Rambam rules: Bnei Yisrael were commanded upon entering the Land – to appoint a king. It is noteworthy that Bnei Yisrael did not appoint such a king for some 400 years from the time that Yehoshua led the nation into Eretz Yisrael. Why didn’t they do so? Because they did not have full independence. What prevented full independence? The answer can be found in silence.
  • Israel Is the Jewish Achilles' Heel
    Exploring the Kuzari's explanation of the centuries-old question, brought to light in this week's Torah reading Devarim: If Israel is as central to the Jews' essence and mission as we say it is, why don't all Jews live there?
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