The weekly Torah portion and its lessons for all people

Haazinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-52
Moses' Last Song

by Avraham ben Yaakov

For I proclaim the name of HaShem; ascribe greatness to our God! (Deuteronomy 32:3).

Moses' entire mission was to "proclaim the name of HaShem", teaching His ways and His laws to Israel and to all the peoples of the world.

On the last day of his life in this world, Moses taught the Children of Israel his final "song" - the affirmation of HaShem's perfect justice:

The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He.

Is corruption His? No; His children's is the blemish; a generation crooked and perverse (verses 4-5).

People may rail against God for what they imagine to be His injustices, but in most cases they themselves have caused of their own afflictions. In the words of King Solomon: "Man's foolishness perverts his way, yet his heart rages against HaShem" (Proverbs 19:3).

Moses' song applies both to Israel and to all humanity, for their destinies are inextricably intertwined.

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will explain to you, your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of men, He set the borders of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. For HaShem's portion is His people, Jacob the lot of His inheritance (verses 7-9).

God chose Israel as His witnesses, and He "set the borders of the peoples according to the number of the Children of Israel". Among the various implications contained in these words is that the habitations of the Children of Israel, whether in their own or in other lands, are far from arbitrary. Rather, they have been sent on a mission to proclaim HaShem to all the different peoples of the world, each within their own "borders" and boundaries, geographical, racial, cultural and ideological.

Moses' song warns the Children of Israel not to rebel against their mission, for God would surely punish them, withdrawing His protection so as to leave them vulnerable to the ravages of their enemies and God's avenging forces.

Yet even if the Children of Israel sin, the nations may not use this as an excuse for themselves to sin. Everyone in the world must acknowledge and submit to HaShem, for nobody can escape His hand:

See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me; I kill, and I make alive; I have wounded, and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand (verse 39).

No-one can escape God's vengeance against those who violate His laws:

For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say: 'As I live for ever, if I whet My flashing sword, and My hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to My adversaries, and will recompense those that hate Me. I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy.'

Sing aloud, O ye nations, of His people; for He avenges the blood of His servants, and renders vengeance to His adversaries, and makes expiation for the land of His people (verses 40-43).

We cannot but discern God's hand of judgment and vengeance in the turmoil afflicting today's world in fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy of the End of Days:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from HaShem shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor (Zechariah 14:13).

Today we see a raging multi-front war of cultures being waged in the very streets of Europe and America between "Islam" and "the West" and between "Traditionalism" and "Permissiveness". We see actual and looming wars in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas that threaten to drag in more and more countries, with the potential to turn into a veritable World War that could dwarf all previous wars.

Peace will only come to the world when all humanity submit themselves to HaShem and embrace His Torah - whose "ways are ways of pleasantness and all of whose paths are peace" (Proverbs3:17). Israel must repent and return to the practice of their 613 Commandments, and all the other peoples must repent and practice the Seven Noahide Laws. This is the only way left.

Let us search and investigate our ways, and return to HaShem (Lamentations 3:40).




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