Israel Forever

For the week ending 9 August 2008 / 8 Av 5768

A Multilingual Message

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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At the end of his long career as leader of his people, Moshe reviewed for them the history of their forty-year journey from Egypt to Eretz Yisrael. This review is called Mishneh Torah which is recorded in the Chumash Devarim which we begin reading in the synagogue this Shabbat.

The Torah tells us that Moshe delivered this message in the clearest fashion, which our Sages interpret as meaning that he broadcast it in seventy languages.

What was the purpose of such a multilingual message if the only audience was made up of speakers of the Holy Tongue?

It has been suggested that since G-d knew that a time would come when the Jews who received His Torah would be dispersed in many lands and familiar only with foreign languages, it was necessary to implant in the Jewish psyche a subliminal familiarity with Torah in every language. This made it possible for Jews today to study Torah in so many languages and thus guarantee the learning of Torah in Israel forever.

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