The Torah and its Blessings are Accessible

Sep 6, 2015

כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לֹא־נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא׃

Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach.

Deuteronomy 30:11

לְאַהֲבָה אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה־בוֹ כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ לָשֶׁבֶת עַל־הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהֹוָה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לָתֵת לָהֶם׃

by loving Hashem your God, heeding His commands, and holding fast to Him. For thereby you shall have life and shall long endure upon the soil that Hashem swore to your ancestors, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, to give to them.

l'-a-ha-VAH et a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha lish-MO-a b'-ko-LO ul-dav-kah VO KEE HU kha-YE-kha v'-O-rekh ya-ME-kha la-SHE-vet al ha-a-da-MAH a-SHER nish-BA a-do-NAI la-a-vo-TE-kha l'-av-ra-HAM l'-yitz-KHAK ul-ya-a-KOV la-TAYT la-HEM

Deuteronomy 30:20

Just in case everything he has told them seems impossible, Moses tells the people that the Torah is imminently accessible to all of them. It is not in heaven or across the sea, where they would need someone to fetch it for them, but it is a choice which God has given to each person.


Moses explains they must choose between good and life or evil and death, but urges them to choose life. If they choose poorly, all the terrible things he has described will come about, but if they choose wisely, loving and serving God, they will prosper in the land which God has promised them and their forefathers. Moses calls upon the heavens and the earth to bear witness to the choice he has placed before the Children of Israel.


The Israel Bible connects this passage with modern Israel’s Independence Day. Each year, the celebration is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, or Memorial Day, remembering the country’s fallen soldiers. The contrast between the two days, commemorated back-to-back, brings into sharp relief the fact that without the sacrifice of Israel’s soldiers today, the people would not be able to live securely in the land God promised their forefathers.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think Moses calls on the heavens and the earth to bear witness to the covenant?

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