Image: Moses leads the Jews across the Reed Sea, pursued by Pharaoh and his army. Fresco from the 3rd c. (CE) synagogue in Dura-Europos in Asia Minor. Public Domain.
This week’s parashah, Ha’azinu, is dramatic: Moses makes his farewell in poetry.
Give ear, O heavens, let me speak! Let the earth hear the words I utter! – Deut 32:1
Moses stands before the People as he recites this, but he is speaking to all of heaven and earth. He knows that his life has had great import, and he has some things to say before he dies.
The best way to read this portion is to hear it: hear it read aloud in English, sure, but if you have the opportunity, hear it chanted from the Torah. It is a chapter of drama and poetry and prophecy.
Our darshanim this week:
Seeing Is Believing – Rabbi Avi Olitzky
The Spirituality of Song – Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Listen, O Heavens, O Israel, and Moses Too – Rabbi Daniel Goldfarb
Ha’azinu and the High Holy Days – Rabbi Amy Scheinerman
Ha’azinu – Rabbi Seth Goldstein (Podcast)
Walking the Walk – Rabbi Rachel Barenblat
Shirat Ha’azinu and Moshe’s Final Message – Yakov Ellenbogen
3 thoughts on “Shabbat Shalom! – Ha’azinu”
Torah has always seemed to me to, in a distinctly Torah-like way, to have a happy ending. After all, in every great old story, we come to a high place (or moment) and then “they lived happily ever after. In these stories, you never see the after. Afters, like you find in life and in Joshua, are never as pretty as they seem in that climactic moment. So maybe Moses got the best of endings . . . he could see it, almost taste it, but it was all in a happily-ever-after way. Disappointed though he may have been, it would have been far more disillusioning had he actually “seen” the future?
This would be fascinating to hear in real life. I really enjoy your posts and have learned so much about the Jewish faith and holidays from reading your blog. Keep up the great work!
Torah is chanted in most synagogues every Saturday morning. Visit a service sometime and you can hear it.
I looked on YouTube.com to see if I could find a recording of Ha’azinu, but no luck.