Parshat Devarim

This week is Shabbat Chazon, and the Parshat Devarim 📖

In this week’s parsha Moshe rebukes the people for their failings and complaining and urges them to keep the Torah. Why does he rebuke them now and not during the time of the events?

Moshe knows his time has finally come and is preparing to leave this world. He wanted to take this opportunity and give the Jewish People mussar. He learned this from Yaakov Avinu. Moshe learnt that if you criticize a child many times throughout their life, they won’t hear you. They may rebel and not accept what you have to say. But if a parent tells a child, in the last moments of their life rebuke they’re more likely to listen and cooperate. They become more open to listening.

But the words Moshe uses seem tame and non-offensive “Through the wilderness, in the Arabah near Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab” (Devarim 1:1).

Moshe was saying that Bnei Yisrael were in these places, but they never were. What is he talking about?

A place called “Lavan” means the desert where they got the ma’an and “white bread”. They were in a place called “Di Zahav”, a place with “plenty of gold”.
Again, they were never in these places so what is Moshe trying to teach? He was highlighting very subtly, different spots where they complained. Instead of bringing up the past and berating them, he was HINTING at these locations so that the Jews would not get offended. Here we learn a very powerful message. Respect.

We need to have respect for every single individual, not embarrass them and get carried away and take things personally. If you convey respect and concern for the other person, you are more likely to get a positive response. Give mussar not from a personal place but a place of emes, truth. If it’s not emes, then you’re not doing it L’Shem Shamayim.

In Mishlei we learn:”Do not rebuke a fool for he will hate you. Rebuke a wise person and he will love you”.

We need to give rebuke out of love so that a person will be open and want to hear what we have to say. We need to do it kindly to help give chizzuk, build a person’s honor so ultimately, they will want to change and become closer to Hashem.

✨ *Shabbat Shalom* ✨