Prepared by Rabbi Stephen Texon
Well, we made it successfully through the High Holidays, reaching the climax of emotion at the closing service of "Neilah" on Yom Kippur. All worshippers stood throughout and filed past the Holy Ark to kiss the Torahs and utter a personal prayer. It is always the most moving Service of the year to me and brings back memories of childhood that are indelible in the mind and heart.
Now we move into the Festivals of pure JOY beginning this Sunday evening with Succot and then with Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah to follow. We will be refreshed by the fragrance of the Etrog, and stand proudly holding and waving the Lulav together with the Etrog, Myrtle and Willow leaves declaring the omnipresence of G-d throughout the universe.
This Shabbat in the Torah portion "Ha’azinu" our greatest Prophet/Leader Moses has "made it" too; he has made it from the floating basket on the Nile river to the summit of Mt. Sinai to the banks of the river Jordan where he anoints Joshua to take over the reins of leadership of our people.
Moses has completed his tremendous mission on this earth and in a 70 line magnificent SONG, blesses the Jewish people calling upon heaven and earth to be his witnesses to what he warning the nation of what to do and what not to do to ensure Jewish survival throughout all future generations. Moses implores the nation to seriously "pay close attention to this (the Torah); it is not an empty teaching, it is our life and with it we will long endure in our land". Amen!
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