PARASHIYOT HA’AZINU

Saturday 26th September 2020 8th Tishri 5781

PARASHIYOT HA’AZINU

Deuteronomy 32:1-52; Hosea 14:2-10; Micah 7:18-20; Matt 18:21-35

SHABBAT SHUVA

If they were wise, they would understand this; they would discern their latter end! (D'varim/Deuteronomy 32:29)


The annual Torah reading cycle comes to an end during the High Holiday season. Whenever a festival falls on Shabbat, a special Torah reading replaces the regularly scheduled ones. This year, that happens quite a bit; this week being the one exception. It is also unusually negative.

We live in unusually negative times. I am not referring to the general intensity of the current challenges we are facing, including the pandemic and various political and social issues. It's the loud angry tone of accusation being incessantly fired at real or perceived wrongs, be they current or past, systemic or not. Somehow it has become acceptable to harshly and angrily criticize those with whom we disagree and blast those deemed to be the source of injustice.

I in no way want to suggest that the concerns being addressed are necessarily unjustified. Perhaps some are. I personally believe that we should do our best to listen to the complaints of others. I know it's difficult to hear the content of what someone is saying when they are very angry. But just because their presentation is upsetting and extreme shouldn't mean they should be automatically disregarded.