Change is Always Possible

Parashat Dvarim Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22

presented July 2002

This is one of a series of drashot (Torah talks) in which I argue that the Rabbis chose Haftorah readings (supplemental readings from the Prophets or Writings) that undermine or subvert themes in the associated weekly Torah reading. The traditional view is that the Haftorah elaborates upon the Torah reading, but I wonder if the Rabbis, like us, found some of the Biblical text problematic.

This parasha includes an interesting retelling by Moses of the 38 years in the wilderness (after the Israelites left Egypt and before they entered the land of Israel). Like any retelling it is an interpretation. Moshe (Moses) doesn’t tell every single thing that happened – that would have taken years to tell. Rather, he picks out certain events and incidents that fit into a larger picture that he is trying to paint or point he is trying to make.

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