Teaching For Shabbat of September 18th, 2021
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Ha’Azinu (הַאֲזִינוּ) — Hebrew for “listen” when directed to more than one person, is the 53rd weekly Torah portion (פָּרָשָׁה, parashah) in the annual cycle of Torah readings and the 10th in the Book of Deuteronomy. It covers on one chapter in Deuteronomy 32:1–52 and sets out the Song of Moses — an indictment of the Israelites’ sins, a prophecy of their punishment, and a promise of God’s ultimate redemption of them.
(Click here for a free Ha’azinu “worksheet” to keep your notes and to complement each week’s Torah video teachings – print out and fill out with your family, kids or alone!)
Torah Parashah Ha’azinu Summary
Learn how the Song of Moses is really the Song of the Lamb:
The greater part of the Torah reading of Haazinu (“Listen In”) consists of a 70-line “song” delivered by Moses to the people of Israel on the last day of his earthly life and has many hidden anomolies in the hebrew.
First Moshe calls the universe to prepare as he is about to proclaim the holy name of God in vs. 3 and he calls on heaven and earth as witnesses to what he is going to prophesy. Moses exhorts the people, “Remember the days of old / Consider the years of many generations / Ask your father, and he will recount it to you / Your elders, and they will tell you” how God “found them in a desert land,” made them a people, chose them as His own, and bequeathed them a bountiful land. The song also warns against the pitfalls of plenty—“Yeshurun (a poetic name for Israel) grew fat and kicked / You have grown fat, thick and rotund / He forsook God who made him / And spurned the Rock of his salvation”—and the terrible calamities that would result, which Moses describes as God “hiding His face.” Yet in the end, he promises, God will avenge the blood of His servants, and be reconciled with His people and land.
The Parshah concludes with God’s instruction to Moses to ascend the summit of Mount Nebo, from which he will behold the Promised Land before dying on the mountain. “For you shall see the land opposite you; but you shall not go there, into the land which I give to the children of Israel.” (Be sure to scroll down to watch the parallel Haftarah video!)
Torah for your Children…
For a simple cartoon summary of the Torah parashah for your children we recommend the following video below created by G-dcast:
This week’s haftorah describes the song King David composed in his old age, echoing the weekly Torah reading, where Moses delivers his parting words to the Jewish nation in song form.
David‘s song expresses gratitude to God for saving him from all his enemies. He starts with the famous words, “The L-rd is my rock and my fortress.” He goes on to describe the pain and hardships he encountered and reiterates that he always turned to God in his moments of distress. He recounts God’s reaction to those who tormented him: “The Lord thundered from heaven; and the Most High gave forth His voice. And He sent out arrows and He scattered them, lightning and He discomfited them. . . I have pursued my enemies and have destroyed them; never turning back until they were consumed.”
The King attributes his salvation to his uprightness in following God’s ways: “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He recompensed me…”
The song ends with David’s expression of thankfulness: “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, and to Your name I will sing praises. He gives great salvation to His king, and He performs kindness to His anointed; to David and to his seed, forevermore.”
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Torah Parashah teaching with video and audio and illustrations by Rabbi Isaac. © 2021 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Use by Permission.