This week’s Torah parshah, as you can tell from the title, is Ha’azinu, or Deuteronomy 32:1-52. This is Moses’ final speech to the Israelites before he ascends Mount Nebo to die. It is traditionally associated with Yom Kippur and read somewhere very close to it (when exactly depends on the year). The reasons for this association should become obvious as we continue.
In the parshah, Moses describes how, even in the Promised Land, the Israelites will continue to be idolatrous, thus disobeying their deity and bringing divine wrath upon themselves. From what I have already discussed in past blogs about the history of the Torah’s composition, clearly the exiled Israelites in Babylonian sought reasons for that exile; in traditional Isrealite fashion, they made sense of their current circumstances by reasoning whose disobedience was to blame.Continue reading “Ha’azinu and Models of the Divine by Ivy Helman.”