Student Teaching in the New Millenium

Love And Land – My Jewish Learning

In Deuteronomy on August 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Love And Land – My Jewish Learning.

Rabbi Ari Jacobson discusses the Torah’s shift of focus from origins and behaviors to the relationship between God and Israel in Deuteronomy, with particular focus on Love.

The story of the Hasid illustrates this point very well, in addition to the point Rabbi Jacobson makes.  When the Rebbe said “make this place Eretz Yisrael”, he not only said “Eretz Yisrael is … an ideal, to be carried within the Jewish heart regardless of … location” but also Eretz Yisrael is an ideal, to be carried in G-d’s heart, everywhere.

What do these ideas mean for other traditions?  Contrast with this statement from the article, that “only Israel is described as a land constantly under the direct watchful eye of Hashem”.  What does this imply?

“There is simply not enough room in the world for both Hashem and the haughty.  It is for this reason…that the land of Israel retains elements of Eretz Canaan.”  Why do we interact with haughty, pushy,  self-centered people every day?

If the locations listed stand for “assorted Jewish iniquities”, as Rashi suggests, does this passage have to be a rebuke?  Or could it be a reminder, in Love, to all of us that “nobody’s perfect”?

Deuteronomy does introduce laws and behaviors we haven’t seen before.  Does it’s presentation of these differ from other legal/behavioral parts of the Torah with its shifted focus, and what does this shift in focus mean for the other books themselves?


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