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ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה הזאת

10/04/2019 11:07:53 AM


Rabbi Steven Suson

In Moses’ final address he instructs the people to go and write this shira (lit. song). The stated purpose of the writing is so that it is instilled in the mouths of future generations of Israelite children. Thus, a perpetual relationship would be established between Israelites and God. The language of communication is the “song.”

The Talmud understands the “song” to be referring to the Torah. The command is to go and write the law. Furthermore, explains the great sage, Rava, it is the duty of each person to write his own Torah scroll. The rabbis understand our verse to mean that every person must physically write a new scroll - presumably, even if they already have a perfectly good one written by their parents or grandparents.

Later commentators explain that the commandment is not literal, but that we should each be involved with Torah study and discussion. It means toiling to make Jewish values and halakha work with our lives as we live today. 

Perhaps the lesson is that each person must develop their own unique relationship with their Creator. While the seeds may be planted by the parents, only the act of writing the song personally is what deepens our relationships with God. 

My prayer for each of us this Shabbat Shuva is the we find the strength to write our own song. May we work to develop deeper connections with God through Torah and mitzvot. May our efforts bring us closer to Him and to one another.

Shabbat Shalom & Gmar Hatima Tova,

Rabbi Steven Suson 

Tue, July 14 2020 22 Tammuz 5780