Ha’azinu 2018

Moses calls both heaven and earth to serve as witnesses to the warnings and blessings that Moses proclaims in the final hours of his life. He cautions the people of the calamities that will befall them if they sin and fail to heed the Torah. He also strongly encourages the people with the promise of the great joy that will come with the Ultimate Redemption.

Emphasizing the special attachment that God has to His people, Israel, Moses reminds the people of G-d’s great love for them, how He found them wandering in the wilderness and turned them into the apple of His eye. Deuteronomy 32:10,יִמְצָאֵהוּ בְּאֶרֶץ מִדְבָּר וּבְתֹהוּ יְלֵל יְשִׁמֹן, יְסֹבְבֶנְהוּ יְבוֹנְנֵהוּ, יִצְּרֶנְהוּ כְּאִישׁוֹן עֵינוֹ , He discovered them in a desert land, in desolation, in a howling wilderness; He encircled them, and granted them discernment, He preserved them like the pupil of His eye.

 

God spared no effort caring for His people, carrying them on the pinions of His wings and making them ride on the heights of the land. He gave the People to eat of the ripe fruits of the field, and drew for them honey from a stone and oil from a flinty rock. He fed them butter of cattle and milk of sheep with the fat of lambs. He served them wheat as broad as kidneys, and gave them to drink delicious wine from the blood of grapes.

Instead of showing gratitude, Israel rebelled (Deuteronomy 32:15), וַיִּשְׁמַן יְשֻׁרוּן וַיִּבְעָט, שָׁמַנְתָּ עָבִיתָ כָּשִׂיתָ, וַיִּטֹּשׁ אֱ־לוֹהַּ עָשָׂהוּ, וַיְנַבֵּל צוּר יְשֻׁעָתוֹJeshurun [the People of Israel] became fat and kicked. You became fat, you became thick, and you became corpulent, and deserted God its Maker, and was contemptuous of the Rock of its salvation.

 

The wisest of all men, King Solomon, in Proverbs 30:8, declares, רֵאשׁ וָעֹשֶׁר, אַל תִּתֶּן לִי , “Do not give me poverty or wealth.” Great poverty can prevent a person from thinking properly, driving that person away from the Al-mighty.