Parashat Haazinu • Deuteronomy 32:1–52

This week’s Two Minutes of Torah come to you courtesy of the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism).

A Failure of Leadership and Moses’ Downfall
D’var Torah by Reuven Firestone

This is one of the shorter sections of the Torah, and it is made up almost entirely of a breathtaking and chastening poem. The term “awesome” tends to be overused today, but this poem is truly awesome. Unfortunately, the power of the Hebrew rhythm and poetic style is lost in the English translation, but we can still sense some of the majesty.

“Give ear, O heavens, let me speak; Let the earth hear the words I utter!” (Deuteronomy 32:1). Thus Moses commences to “sing out” the majesty of God (the word for poem in Hebrew, shir, is also the word for song). Read more…