Friday, October 7, 2016

Shabbat Around the Table -- Vayelech

This week's parsha is Vayelech. On Moses's last day on earth, he ensures that future generations will know the Torah by finishing the task of writing it down in a scroll and giving it to the Levites to protect it. He also appoints Joshua as the leader to succeed him.

Moses also says something very powerful: "Gather the people -- men, women, children, and the strangers in your communities -- that they may hear and so learn to revere the Lord your God and to observe faithfully every word of this Teaching. Their children, too, who have not had the experience, shall hear and learn to revere the Lord your God . . ."

"Those who have not had the experience" refers to those who weren't with Moses in the desert for all those years, those who didn't experience the revelation at Mt. Sinai directly. Moses is suggesting that even generations not yet born are blessed with the teachings of the Torah. I can't think of a more profound concept to impress on our children: God knew each of us before we were born, God had faith in us, and God had a most precious gift God was anxiously waiting to give us: the gift of Torah.

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