Haazinu- The Torah is not an empty thing for you

R’ Eli Munk commented that “for you” means that it is you who will determine whether the Torah is empty or meaningful. If it does seem empty for you, then it is because of your limitations, your lack of willpower and lack of commitment. He quoted Rambam who wrote that every story, statement, and word in the Torah has a purpose for us as Jews. “it is your life” teaches that it has within it, all the guidance for a good life.

 

The next statement “through this matter, shall you prolong your days on the land, to which you cross the Jordan to possess it” teaches that Torah study is rewarded with long life in Israel. The Mishna states that Torah study is equivalent to all the other mitzvoth combined, because the study of Torah leads to the observance of all the other mitzvoth.

 

Moshe was told to climb Mt Nebo and from there he could look out at the land but could not cross the Jordan into it. The reason was repeated (the incorrect striking of the rock at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin) and Rambam wrote that this is because sanctifying G-d’s name is much more critical for a respected leader of the people than for an ordinary Jew.The leader is likewise held accountable for a minor misdemeanor which might be easily overlooked in an ordinary person. 

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