(Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30) / (Isaiah 61:10-63:9)
1. [29:9] “You are all standing today in front of God—your leaders, your tribes…” Moshe says that all are standing in front of God today to be part of the covenant. Then he mentions all parts of the people specifically. What purpose is served by mentioning each part of the people separately, after we are told that all the people are being addressed?
2. [30:2] “And you will return to God and you will listen to His voice…” Rav Kuk tells us that we hear the voice of God speaking to us as individuals and as groups, in our everyday lives. In what ways do we hear the voice of God speaking to us?
3. [31:21] “…and this song will serve as a witness for them…” When the Jews will have turned away from God and bad things will happen to us, this song will help to return us to God. What qualities does song have that makes it better than stories or declarations to change a person’s attitudes?
4. [Haftara: Isaiah 63:9] “In all their pain, He was pained…” Isn’t God higher than pain. What does it mean when we are told that God is in pain when the Jews are in pain?
5. [Slichot] “The soul is yours and the body is your work…” On Saturday night, September 4, we begin saying slichot in order to prepare for Rosh Hashana and tshuvah. Why do we say, “The soul is yours and the body is your work…”? It would seem that this does not make us more responsible, it puts all the focus on God. How does saying this prepare us for tshuvah?
The main ”listening to the voice of God”, is when one pays attention to the whole process of life in all of its details…The more the details seem to be coming from an elevated spiritual place…in a clear way, the more a person hears with clarity the voice of God speaking to him—teaching and commanding.
–R. Avraham Y. H. Kuk, 1865-1935, Lithuania and Israel.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya Kornberg
And this study page is also dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker