Moshe tells the people of Israel how he implored Hashem to allow him to enter the Land of Israel, but Hashem refused, instructing him instead to ascend a mountain and see the Promised Land.
Continuing his “review of the Torah,” Moshe describes the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah, declaring them unprecedented events in human history. “Has there ever occurred this great thing, or has the likes of it ever been heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of Hshem speaking out of the midst of the fire . . . and live? . . . You were shown, to know, that the Lrd is Hashem . . . there is none else beside Him.”
Moshe predicts that in future generations the people will turn away from Hashem, worship idols, and be exiled from their land and scattered amongst the nations; but from there they will seek Hashem, and return to obey His commandments.
Our Parshah also includes a repetition of the Ten Commandments, and the verses of the Shma, which declare the fundamentals of the Jewish faith: the unity of Hashem (“Hear O Israel: the Lrd our Gd, the Lrd is one”); the mitzvot to love Hashem, to study His Torah, and to bind “these words” as tefillin on our arms and heads, and inscribe them in the Mezuzas affixed on the doorposts of our homes
After three week's of mourning and soul-searching, the Shabbos after Tisha B'Av is called "Shabbos Nachmu" (consolation). In this week's haftorah, Yeshayahu the Navi (Prophet) begins to console the Jewish nation for their loss. With this consolation, he gives hope that no matter how far we have fallen, Hashem will always be with us, and in the end, will lift us up to Him. Yeshayahu reminds us to trust in Hashem, and to understand that everything that has happened to us, whether good or bad, is ultimately for our best; and that we should learn from everything that has happened.
In the Parsha:
“If you beget children and grandchildren and become old in the land, and become corrupt and make an idol, the image of anything, and you do what is evil in the eyes of the Almighty, your G-d, to anger him…” (Devarim 4:25)
Rav Zelig Pliskin asks, if a person merits having children and grandchildren, why does this lead to him becoming corrupt and doing evil? If anything, won’t a person have a deep sense of gratitude to Hashem for everything that he has been given?
The answer, he says, are in the words “becoming old”. When something in a person’s life becomes old, being he is accustomed to having it, he no longer appreciates it. Taking things for granted can occur in all forms, whether one’s spouse, children, health, career, material possessions, etc…
When something is taken for granted, he no longer enjoys it. When he no longer enjoys it, he cannot express his gratitude for having it. Of course, things spiral downwards from there.
Thank G-d we’ve all been given many good things in life. And of course, there are many things in life we still need or want.
Perhaps, by constantly expressing our gratitude to Hashem for the things we already have, coupled with taking nothing for granted; Hashem will continue to bestow upon us further blessings.
Have a great Shabbos!