Weekly Sidra: Devarim (Words)
Torah Portion: Devarim / Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
Haftorah: Yeshayahu / Isaiah 1:1-1:27
"Come, let us reach an understanding, –declares the HaShem–Be your sins like crimson, they can turn snow-white; Be they red as dyed wool, They can become like fleece." If, then, you agree and give heed, You will eat the good things of the earth; But if you refuse and disobey, You will be devoured [by] the sword. — For it was the Lord who spoke. (Isaiah 1:18-20)
This week we start the final book of Moses called Devarim (words), or Deuteronomy as it is called in English. This book is called in The Second Torah or mishneh ha-torah ha-zoth (Hebrew) because a recounting of the commandments and their historical background. Some of the commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai were recorded in the book of Leviticus, others in the book of Numbers, each book recording only those commandments related to its theme.
Why repeat the Torah a second time? Historically, the Torah tells us, from where we came (past); who we are (present) and where we are going (future). As Jews it is important to remind ourselves of these things so we may never forget. For this reason it is so important to Never Forget the Holocaust and the 6 million Jews, Germans and gypsies that were slaughtered.
I am currently reading a book called Hitler’s Secret War against the Jews. I found it incredible to read of the Jews opinions prior to the rise of Hitler.
“Jews in Germany were divided as to how they felt about these events (the rise of anti-Semitism). Berthold Auerbach…was in despair “If I tell myself again that it is not so bad, the horrible fact remains that such coarseness, such deceipt and, such hatred are still possible. Leopold Zunz… took another view. He wrote to a friend: “Thus I live unconcerned about the anti-Jewish agitating swine-eaters: their din is a childhood imitation of the Crusades, no longer in style. World literature today and in the newspaper press are more powerful than all the blockheads aping the Middle Ages.” (page 31)
Do we hold similar views as Zunz did? Do we think that people are too civilized to ever let this happen again? Do we think that with the advance of technology, like the internet, it can never happen again? I beg to differ! I think it can and will happen again!
If there is one lesson we should learn from the Holocaust it is that a Jew is not safe in any country. I believe that many Jews today are under the misconception that they are safe. They have their friends, family, shul, and even kosher restaurants where they live. They feel very safe in the United States, Canada, etc.
However, the difference between now and the time of the Holocaust is that there was no home for the Jews for which to flee. Many boats containing Jews were sent back to Germany where the Jews were eventually killed.
Now we have a home, Eretz Yisrael!! We have no more excuses; make Aliyah to Israel before it is too late — Before history repeats itself!
Tags: anti semitism, berthold auerbach, book of moses, book of numbers, crusades, deceipt, deuteronomy, gypsies, HaShem, horrible fact, isaiah 1, jews in germany, mdash, mount sinai, reading a book, rise of hitler, rsquo, secret war, snow white, world literature
More Related Articles: