© 2017 by Shalom Magazine

Parsha Haazinu

   Upon reading paarashat Haazinu, we find many similarities with the first parasha of the Torah parashat Bereshit. First of all, they both begin with the mention of the shamayim and the aaretz (the heaven and the earth) . Then in Haazinu the Torah mentions deshe and eisev (vegetation and grass) just as it does in Bereshit. What is really striking though is the word tohu (unformed), which only appears twice in the Torah. In Bereshit it says "vehaaretz hayta tohu vavohu" and in Haazinu it says "uvetohu yeled yeshimon". Another word which is also only mentioned twice in the Torah in these parshiot, is "merachefet" (hovers) and "al gozlav yerachef".

   The connections between Haazinu and Bereshit are unmistakeable. But why is Moshe at the end of his life and at the end of the Torah, using words that only appear otherwise in the beginning of the Torah? What is the connection between the creation of the world and the Jewish nation preparing to enter the land of Israel?

   The answer is that just as the world before creation was a place with no purpose and no direction, so too the Jewish people before matan torah had no purpose and no direction. As is mentioned in the Torah they were in the desert going from one place to another almost as if they were going in circles. When the world was created, everything was given a purpose. The shamayim (heavens) would bring tal (dew). The aaretz (earth) would bring deshe (grasses). The sun would bring light Yes, animals and even man were created with a purpose. However, the Jewish people have an even more important task. Just like the sun brings physical light to the world, it is the Jewish people who bring spiritual light to the world. Now that they have the Torah and the land of Israel, they have the tools to fulfill their purpose in the world. It is then and only then that the beracha (blessing) will come not only to the Jewish people , but to the world as a whole.