Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Devarim

by Rabbi Dovid Green


This week we begin Deuteronomy, the last of the five books of the Torah. In this portion we learn how as the Jewish nation neared the Promised Land, Moshe Rabeinu reviewed the nation's deeds and experiences during the years in the wilderness. There they were, about to begin one of the most incredible chapters in the existence of our nation. So why, we might ask, was it necessary to look into that generation's past deeds at such an auspicious moment? Wasn't this a time for looking toward the future?

We can better understand the need for taking stock by examining the following parable:

A servant of a king, after many years of faithful service, was about to be given a highly responsible position in the kings palace. He was even being allowed to take up residency in the palace itself! The day for the servant to move his possessions into his new royal quarters would soon approach. The servant, was naturally elated and proud. The king asked his second-in-command, to offer the royal resident-to-be some counseling. This was out of kindness to the servant, to prepare him for the future and its new demands. The advice came in the form of reviewing the servant's past record over the years. The counselor not only reviewed the deeds of the servant which had brought glory to the king, but also where he had fallen short in his duties. Bringing reality down to earth during such a heady moment in the servant's career would ensure that a sober attitude would accompany his joy. This attitude would then be the catalyst towards his successful serious service of the king.

So it was with the Jewish people. Moshe reviewed the past events during the nation's sojourn in the desert, both positive and otherwise. Precisely because of this review, they would be equipped with the best attitude for the serious business at hand. Soon they would take up residence in the "palace" of the Holy Land. This would bring with it the challenge of fulfilling the many commandments which only apply when living there. They would also be responsible for the many commandments connected to the building of and service in the Holy Temple. Thus, taking stock of past deeds was actually the wise advise of Moshe Rabeinu, the King's counselor to the Jewish nation. Only a sober attitude would enable them to be successful in their new position. They would experience the seriousness and the joy of their upcoming service of G-d in the Holy Land. Moshe had helped prepare their future in a practical way by examining their past record, not by touting a fancy future, free of any awareness of the magnitude of their responsibilities.

The Jewish concept of repentance hinges on this same idea. The sages say that when the Torah uses the word "atah" (spelled with an ayin), meaning "now", it refers to repentance. The underlying idea is that reflecting on the past is for the purpose of improving the present and the future. The focus is improvement. There is no room for depression or despair, as the future looks bright in the light of the committment to improve.

The student of Torah knows that what comes along with his glorious status of being a servant of G-d is the need for a serious attitude coupled with joy, to strengthen him as he builds a foundation toward spiritual goals. May we merit to see the culmination of our ultimate goal as a nation in the recognition of G-d's majesty the world over. Good Shabbos.

This weeks DvarTorah is dedicated in memory of Nechemya ben Chaim Dovid O"H

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright © 1997 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON TOLDOS:

View Complete List

Worse than Color Blind
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

From Soup to Nuts
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Again and Again Rather Thanů
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Why the Bicycle Riders?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Sinai & Sina
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5764

What a Maroon!
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

ArtScroll

Family Feud
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

A Meal for Eisav... a Fork for Ya'akov
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Prayer and Domestic Tranquility Are The Secrets To Raising Good Children
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

> Energy or Exhaustion - Eisav Shows His True Colours
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

He Who Recognizes that He Was Stupid
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Inside Outside
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Our Struggle
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

Raising Children and Good Mazal
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

You Threw it Out?!
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Food For Thought
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information