Torah Portion: V’Zot HaBrachah (And this is the blessing) (Deut.) 32:1-34:12

HafTorah: Joshua 1:1-18

Tonight we finish our yearly Torah cycle by finishing the book of Deut. (D’Varim). Next week we begin the cycle again with the book of Genesis. Since we did not do a Torah study last week I wanted to take a moment to look at HaAzinu.

Our lives seem to be lived out in two realms – the sacred and the everyday or spirit and flesh. When we read the first verse of Chapter 32 we can see this same picture in Moses’ words. Here we see Moses calling Heaven and Earth as witnesses to his words to Israel. What is interesting is his choice of words. When speaking to Heaven he uses a word whose root in Hebrew is ear. So the word gives us the idea of whispering into someone’s ear. When he addresses Earth it is a word that indicates some distance between speaker and hearer. So what is the Torah saying to us? Proverbs 18:24 helps us. This verse talks about he who sticks closer than a brother. Yeshua is the one who leads us to the Father. He intercedes for us each day. So if we look at these words of Moses we see him saying, “Stay so close to heaven that you only have to whisper. G-d will hear you.” He is saying we are in this world but we must never let its nearness dull us to the things of Heaven. There must remain in each of us the spark of the Spirit of G-d that is not smothered by the world. Can we whisper and G-d hear? Always. But we can lose our desire to communicate. We can become so wrapped up with Earth that we don’t whisper anymore.

I would hope that these holidays that are bunched together here in one month have rejuvenated our spiritual senses. I pray we, because of this concentrated time, been able to be renewed and not held so tightly by the earth. We are in the world but not of the world. John 15:19; John 17:14-16, Romans 12:2. May each of us never loose the desire to whisper in Heaven’s ear.

In the last Torah section of the year we find somewhat the same idea. First this Torah section is mainly a blessing by Moses to each of the tribes of Israel before they cross over into the Land. I would like us to look at the blessing over the tribe of Judah found in Deut. 33:7. Here we read, “Hear O L-rd, the voice of Judah and bring him to his people.” Who is Moses asking G-d to bring to his people? I believe it is easy to see this verse as Moses asking the Father to bring quickly one of the sons of Judah and that Son would be the Messiah who was prophesied to be of the tribe of Judah. So Moses as one of his last acts asks G-d to send the Messiah to His people.

Now to the question about Jeshurun. What does the word mean? Its root is found in the Hebrew word meaning straight or upright. Again this could refer directly to the Promised One – the Messiah. In fact this is exactly how the Jerusalem Targum interprets this verse. It sees this King Yeshurun as the coming Messiah who like Moses will gather the tribes together in the coming age and restore Torah to the whole earth. Isaiah 2:3.

I also think as children of the King we are called on to live our lives in a straight upright way so that Heaven is just a whisper away.