This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
This week's Torah reading starts with the statement "Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; may the earth hear the words of my mouth."
Two different Hebrew words are used for what, at first glance, is the same idea. Regarding the heavens, the verse says ha'azinu, literally "give ear" -- pay heed, listen up, take note, etc. Regarding the earth, the verse uses the word v'tishma, meaning "it shall hear." The commentators mention that this difference is based on the different "customers." When it comes to the heavens (from whom our expectations are naturally higher) a harsher tone is used; whereas regarding the more vulnerable earth the somewhat softer "it shall hear" is used.
G‑d Is Carrying Us
This week we read the seventh haftorah of consoling. It is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. It is read with the portion of Nitzavim (and sometimes, Nitzavim-Vayelech)
What is the connection between this haftorah and Rosh Hashanah? What message is there to be found here for the new year?
The parshah begins, “You are all standing here today before G‑d your G‑d.” The day we all stand before G‑d in judgment is Rosh Hashanah.
Freeing the Trapped Sparks
We were city kids who spent 99% of our lives in the Jewish neighborhoods of Melbourne. On the infrequent occasions in my childhood when we were schlepped out bush to go hiking with school or camp, you could almost guarantee what would happen at the rest break.
We’d be sitting around on some lonely trail, admiring the scenery or collecting wood, when a teacher or counselor would come running up, all excited.