With this week’s parasha we start a new Sefer, the last book in the Torah: Sefer Devarim.
The parasha opens up with Moshe Rabbeinu reviewing the travels of the nation in the desert, with some rebuke mixed in to the narrative. He mentions setting up the judges system, the sending of spies into the Land, and fighting with different nations like Se’ir and Moav. He speaks about the command to head toward the Land of Eretz Yisroel, and the conquering of Og, followed by the inheritance requested and received by Reuven, Gad and half of the tribe of Menashe.
Moshe Rabbeinu ends the parasha strengthening Yehoshua in his new leadership role.
In an astonishingly relevant way, this parasha (and Sefer Devarim in general) are a powerful lesson in Jewish history.
Moshe Rabbeinu reminds the nation of when Hashem told them to continue travelling as the mountain of Se’ir is for Eisav’s children and we will not be able to conquer it.
The Yalkut Shimoni explains a deeper meaning to this: when the enemies of the Jewish people, the children of Eisav, are seeking to hurt us, hide – hide in the Torah which will protect us. This is how Yaakov Avinu prepared for battle with Eisav and this is how we continue to fight the war of anti-Semitism until today: with prayer and Torah learning.
Today we are yet again embroiled in a war with our cousins, our enemies, the children of Eisav and the children of Yishma’el. Jewish history has been repeating itself for millennia, and just as the nations of the world are fighting us, we have to fight back with the best tools we have – Torah and Tefillah.
(Based on a dvar Torah by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch from torah.org.)
Hoping to hear good news soon from our Holy Land!
In addition to all of the soldiers fighting at the front and the injured soldiers who need our prayers, please keep in mind Hadar ben Chedva Leah, an Israeli soldier who was kidnapped on Friday by terrorists. Hadar is engaged to be married next month! Can you imagine what his parents and his kallah (fiance) are going through? Please daven for his immediate and safe return!