The fifth and final book of the Torah begins with the words: “These are the words that Moshe addressed to all of Israel” (Deuteronomy 1:1). The Hebrew name for Deuteronomy, Devarim, literally means ‘words’ – Moshe has found his voice and is ready to outwardly speak to the people of Israel…
Moshe recounts and reviews the events that occurred over the long 40-year journey to the promised land. He speaks about the exodus from Egypt and what happened on their journey.
Moshe tells the people how important it is to follow the Word of God – “the Torah and the commandments in the land that we were given”. He reminds the people of the spies, and their lack of confidence in fighting for the Promised Land. He reminds the “new” generation of these lessons and to have faith and courage, which, fundamentally, always is part of what it means to be a Jew.
Moshe’s role as the speaker reminds us that we can change and grow. Regardless of his difficulties, encountered over the 40 years of leadership and prophecy, Moses manages to build resilience. This reflects the importance of real leadership, being honest, having trust and being resilient.
The parashah also reminds us that in order to move forward, we must start by reviewing our own journey. While we may not be facing literal battles, each of us faces challenges in our lives, encountering fear and despair. We also make mistakes, feel frustrated and vulnerable, however it is only when we are able to reflect on our mistakes that we are able to grow and advance. We should all have the courage Moshe asks of our people Moses and, like our ancestors, we should continue our journey.