Almost all of Ha'azinu is a song, written in the Torah in two parallel columns. Moshe summons the heavens and the earth to stand as eternal witnesses to what will happen if the Jewish People sin and do not obey the Torah. He reminds the people to examine the history of the world, and note how the Jewish People are rescued from obliteration in each generation - that
Nothing Like the Torah
“And Yeshurun became fat and kicked” (32:15)
Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) was one of the greatest and best-loved statesmen and communal leaders in the history of the Jewish People.
He was born in Leghorn, Italy and grew up in London. In 1827 he made his first visit to Eretz Yisrael. His stay in the Land had a profound effect on him; he became religiously observant, and from then until the end of his life he was scrupulous in all areas of mitzvah observance.
It happened that one Shabbat, the great sage known as the “Chatam Sofer” stayed with Sir Moses. Sir Moses was overjoyed to have the honor of hosting such a great Torah scholar, and he did not stint to honor his guest in every way. And not just physically. As was his way, Sir Moses was just as concerned with the spirituality of Shabbat, if not more so, than its physical side.
Sir Moses was a humble man. He did not want to pass up the opportunity of correcting even the smallest infraction of halacha, and so, after Shabbat, Sir Moses took the Chatam Sofer aside and said to him, "May I please ask your honor if there was anything you saw about our Shabbat that was not in accordance with that which is written in the Torah?"
The Chatam Sofer replied immediately, "I saw nothing here this Shabbat that was in accordance with what is written in the Torah!"
Sir Moses' jaw dropped. Could he really believe his ears?
Continued the Chatam Sofer, "It says in the Torah, And Yeshurun became fat and kicked. Rashi explains that this means the Jewish People became rich and prospered because of
"I have spent a Shabbat with someone whom the Creator has blessed with great wealth, and yet everything is done in the service of the Most High. So you see, nothing I have seen here this Shabbat is accordance with what is written in the Torah!” They then shared a smile of Torah happiness.
- Source: heard from Rabbi Yehuda Samet