On the last day of his life, Moshe gathers together all the people, both young and old, lowly and exalted, men and women in a final initiation. The covenant includes not only those who are present, but even those generations yet unborn. Moshe admonishes the people again to be extremely vigilant against idol worship, because in spite of having witnessed the abominations of Egypt, there will always be the temptation to experiment with foreign philosophies as a pretext for immorality. Moshe describes the desolation of the Land of Israel which will be a result of the failure to heed
“You are all standing today…” (29:9)
Who would have thought that anti-Semitism would make such a virulent comeback?
As a schoolboy in 1967 I remember reading the Sunday Times reporting the Six Day War. You would have thought that the English army had just won the war. Plucky little David against the Arab Goliath.
And now, little David has been recast as the “blood-thirsty Goliath” devouring the “hapless waifs” of Gaza.
“And it was evening, and it was morning…” (Bereishet 1:5) The Torah teaches us that the natural world starts in darkness and then comes the light.
“You are all standing today…”
The existence of the Jewish People in this world is like the natural cycle of nature. Just as night precedes day, so is the story of the Jewish People. It is a story that begins with persecution, hardship and exile — and ends with redemption and light.
As our Sages teach us, “The beginning of the righteous is hardship, and their end, tranquility.”
As the old year and its curses comes to an end, may
- Sources: based on No’am Megadim in Mayana Shel Torah