Parashat Devarim

Moshe speaks to a new generation, people who apart from Joshua and Caleb, were not in Egypt, did not cross the Red Sea, and were not at Har Sinai to receive the Torah. Moshe has to explain the history of the people to them and clarify the role of G-d in their lives.


Moshe asked “How (Eicha) could I manage to handle your disputes, your burdens and your nuisance?” He then answers “By appointing judges and wise men to hear your issues and judge justly between you and your brother and a stranger”.


Sfat Emet pointed out that the same word Eicha as used by Moshe is also used at the beginning of Megillat Eicha which is read on Tisha B’Av. The comment is that small problems or mistakes in one generation can have an impact on the next generation and the situation can get gradually worse until, at its worst, you have the destruction of the second Temple. It follows that the more we can understand and take responsibility for our mistakes, the better the chances are for the next generation.


While Eicha is read in Israel mainly in Shules, some read it on the ruins of Herodion while others read it at the grave of Yitzchak Rabin. Recognition of the need to tolerate the many different approaches within Judaism will enhance Israel’s chances of flourishing among the nations by minimising the conflict within this people.

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