A little bit of Torah to bring in Shabbat!
10/7/2016 – Vayelech/Deuteronomy
By Lauren Levinson, Israel Engagement Coordinator
This week’s Parsha begins with 120 year old Moses explaining to the people of Israel that he will not be entering the land of Milk and Honey with them. The parsha actually expresses that Israel is the land of Milk and honey, a saying I had always heard of, and on occasions referred to Israel as, but never really knew where it came from. I’m happy to finally be aware that in Deuteronomy 31:20 this description is used! This is an interaction from God to Moses talking about the people of Israel “When I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey that I promised on oath to their fathers, and they eat their fill and grow fat and turn to other gods and serve them, spurning Me and breaking My covenant,” In this part of the Parsha, I picture God and Moses game planning how life will really work once the people enter Israel. It feels like God is nervous that the people will go against what was promised to them. That is why in this Parsha, God and Moses chose Joshua to not only be God’s official contact person but also lead the people into Israel. Thinking about what kind of pressure Joshua might have been under is pretty unimaginable. However it seemed like he would be supported by God no matter the circumstance. “And He charged Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and resolute: for you shall bring the Israelites into the land that I promised them on oath, and I will be with you.” And now being at the beginning of a brand new year, I’m taking away something important from this Parsha. God instructed the people of Israel to follow the teachings of the Torah which in part tells us to do the right thing, be a good person, and support those we love. These are values we can take with us no matter if we’re in the land of Milk and Honey or the land of Happy Valley. Shana Tova!