From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/dvarim
D’varim (דְּבָרִים – Hebrew for “words”) – Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel on the other side of the Jordan. – Deuteronomy 1:1
- Moses begins his final words of instruction to the Children of Israel, focusing first on recounting their physical journey. (1:1-21)
- Moses reviews the people’s reactions to the negative reports of the spies and the appointment of Joshua to succeed him. (1:22-45)
- Moses recounts that all of the Israelite warriors who left Egypt died, as God had intended, and the people continued their wanderings and defeated their enemies. (2:14-3:11)
- Moses reiterates that the Land of Israel was allocated to the Israelite tribes. (3:12-22)
Isaiah 1:1-27 – Shabbat Chazon
Shabbat Chazon (Sabbath of Prophecy/Vision aka Black Sabbath) for Hebrew Year 5783 begins at sundown on Friday, 21 July 2023 and ends at nightfall on Saturday, 22 July 2023. This corresponds to Parashat Devarim.
Shabbat Chazon (“Sabbath [of] vision” שבת חזון) takes its name from the Haftarah that is read on the Shabbat immediately prior to the mournful fast of Tisha B’Av, from the words of rebuke and doom coming from Isaiah in the Book of Isaiah 1:1-27. It is also referred to as the Black Sabbath due to its status as the saddest Shabbat of the year (as opposed to the White Sabbath, Shabbat Shuvah, immediately preceding Yom Kippur).
Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of both the First and Second Temples as well as the Expulsion from Spain. This year Tish’a B’Av begins the evening of Wednesday, July 26 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, July 27, 2023.
From Reform Judaism https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/dvarim
By: Rabbi Talia Avnon-Benveniste
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH and REFLECTION
For Torah Study, instead of the double portion from the Book of Deuteronomy that is read on this Shabbat, we will read the Haftarah (a selection from the prophets) from Isaiah 1:1-27. You can read this week’s Torah Portions at https://www.sefaria.org/Deuteronomy.1.1-3.22, and the Haftarah at https://www.sefaria.org/Isaiah.1.1-27
From “The Torah / A Women’s Commentary” edited by Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D.
דברים D’varim – Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22
Post-biblical Interpretations – by Deborah Green, pp. 1056-7
These are the words (1:1). This parashah is read in the synagogue on the Sabbath immediately preceding Tishah B’Av, the annual commemoration of the destruction of the First and Second Temples. Therefore, the haftarah reading (from Isaiah 1:1–27) and many of the rabbinic commentaries focus on images and themes of rebuke, in which Israel is called upon to repent and embrace a higher level of moral and ethical conduct.
Midrash Sifrei D’varim 1 is devoted almost entirely to the subject of rebuke. The midrash explains that Moses wrote the entire Torah, not just “these…words.” If so, the midrash responds, then “these words” must be words of reproof as similarly seen in Amos, Jeremiah, and in reference to King David, “These are the words of David” (I Samuel 23:1). However, according to Sifrei D’varim 1, in some cases it is God, rather than Moses, who voices criticism. For example, God rebukes the Israelites for complaining about the manna they ate during their trek in the wilderness (Numbers 21:5), asserting that kings would willingly choose to eat such a food for its apparent health benefits. The Israelites’ ingratitude reminds God of another ancestor, Adam, who was given Eve as a helper and mate–but then blamed her for his disobedience in eating the fruit (Genesis 3:12). In this unusual interpretation of Genesis 2–3, the Israelites’ behavior is explained through a comparison with Adam, whom the Rabbis deem cowardly and unjust in attributing his own sin to Eve.
Elsewhere, the Rabbis view rebuke as a vehicle for repentance. In P’sikta D’Rav Kahana 15:5 (Mandelbaum edn.), a late midrashic compilation based on the liturgical cycle of holy days, the midrash for the Shabbat before Tishah B’Av focuses on Israel’s abandonment of the study of Torah and its subsequent disastrous results: the destructions of the First and Second Temples. The Rabbis observe that a person who forsakes God but continues to study Torah will return to God by means of the power of the Toráh itself.
It was in the fortieth year (1:3). The sages understood this phrase to mean that Moses did not rebuke the Israelites until he was about to die. A midrash found in Sifrei D’varim 2 and B’reishit Rabbah 54:3 cites a number of other cases of deathbed rebuke (including Abraham, Isaac, and Joshua), and then explains why one should not reprove another person until one’s death is near. The reasons include avoiding reproaching another person repeatedly, preserving the chastised person from shame in the presence of the rebuker, preventing the individual from holding a grudge against the rebuker, and permitting the rebuked one to leave in peace, “for rebuke should bring about peace.”
Do not harass the Moabites… You will then be close to the Ammonites (2:9, 19). The Rabbis often interpret these verses about Moab and Ammon in relation to Ruth and Naamah, two foreign women who influenced Israelite history. According to the Bible, Ruth, a Moabite, remained faithful to her mother-in-law Naomi after both were widowed, and she adopted Naomi’s people and their way of life. With Naomi’s help, Ruth married Boaz, and became King David’s great-grandmother. Naamah, an Ammonite, was King Solomon’s wife and the mother of Rehoboam, the king of Judah after Solomon (I Kings 14:21). On their behalf, according to BT Bava Kama 38b, God instructed Moses not to wage war against the Moabites or Ammonites: “The idea you have in your mind is not the idea I have in My mind. In the future I will bring forth two doves from them: Ruth the Moabite and Naamah the Ammonite” (also BT Nazir 23b, BT Horayot 10b–11a).
These talmudic passages also note that Lot’s two daughters were the matriarchs of Moab and Ammon through incestuous relations with their father (Genesis 19:37–38). The exegetical etymologies of the names of the offspring, and therefore of the tribes, are significant to the Rabbis. They view the name of the elder daughter’s son (Moab, or “my father”) as a reference to the sinful incestuous act, which explains for them why God forbade war with Moab but did not restrict Israel from harassing the potential enemy. The Rabbis use a Greek word, no doubt familiar from Roman rule, to describe this harassment as the seizure or subjugation of Moab for forced labor, particularly for public works projects. In the case of the younger daughter’s son (Ben-ammi, meaning “son of my people,” and rendered as Ammon), no reference is made to incest. As a result, the Sages explain, God forbade Israel from either warring with or harassing the Ammonites.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 3 Av through 10 Av, we lovingly remember:
TKH Memorial Board, Mother of Holly Sickles
Father of Cynthia Funckes
Chaya bat Yitzchak Gomez
Mother of TKH member Ruben Gomez
Rishon ben Yosef Gomez
Brother of TKH member Ruben Gomez
Husband of Susie Morss
Mother of Jane Kolber
Donor of Organ to TKH
TKH Memorial Board
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, July 21, 2023.
Zoom regularly updates its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening with wine/grape juice for Kiddush and Challah for Motzi.
Topic: Torah Study – Haftarah Devarim Shabbat Chazon: Isaiah 1:1-27
Time: Jul 21, 2023 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Jul 21, 2023 07:30 PM Arizona
To join Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/72510500854?pwd=Z3VQZWF4U1BBZytNYmh3aHFTWkFDZz09
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat – Gut Shabbos!
PS – About the Book of Isaiah:
From Jewish Encyclopedia
From My Jewish Learning
From Torah.org (includes Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel)
From Wikipedia (refers to Proto-Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah, Trito-Isaiah)
Timelines from Wikipedia