44 Va’etchanan

אֲדֹנָי יהוִה אַתָּ֤ה הַחִלּותָ לְהַרְאוֹת אֶֽת־עַבְדְּךָ אֶת־גָּדְלְךָ וְאֶת־יָדְךָ הַחֲזָקָה אֲשֶׁר מִי־אֵל בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂה כְמַעֲשֶׂיךָ וְכִגְבוּרֹתֶךָ׃

O Lord God, you have begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like your works and your mighty deeds?

Shabbat

Name

Parasha

Haftora

Brit Chadasha

Aug. 1 2020

Va’etchanan
“Will Implore”

Deut. 3:23-7:11

Isaiah 40:1-26

Mark 12:28-34
1 Tim. 2:4-6

Shabbat Nachamu ("Sabbath of comfort/ing) takes its name from the haftarah from Isaiah 40:1-26 that speaks of "comforting" the  people for their suffering. It the first of seven haftarot of consolation leading up to the holiday of Yom Tru’ah (Rosh Hashanah).

As the Israelites are prepared to enter Canaan in Parashat Va’etchanan, Moses speaks at length with his people, instructing them on God’s legacy. Moses then reiterates the Ten Commandments. The paragraph which we know as the first paragraph of the Shema forms part of Moses’ exhortation to the people to keep faith with God after they enter the land, when Moses himself will no longer be able to guide or instruct them. Moses retells how essential is the covenant at Sinai: “The Lord your God sealed a covenant with us at Horeb. Not with our ancestors did the Lord seal this covenant but with us — we who are here today, all of us alive.” And with reference to the miracles of the Exodus, Moses declaims: “You yourself were shown to know that the Lord is God[.]” (Deuteronomy 4:3; 5:3; 4:35).

Parashat Va’etchanan, places much of its emphasis on God’s commandments by which we are enjoined to believe that the Lord is the prime mover of all existence, Lord of all, alone and without any others.  Disappointment is woven into the fabric of the human condition, and whatever the answer we receive to our prayers; we learn God’s abundant life’s promise, is secured to being in relationship, it’s the honest acknowledgement of the fragility of life, along with the faith that God’s word is eternal. There’s an invitation to depend on the largeness and permanence of the divine to help us experience the abundance. Each individual life fades, but we are all held in the Heavenly abundance which endures forever.