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Devarim 5779

Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22

This week we begin the last of the Five Books of Moses, Devarim ("Words"). In English, it is called Deuteronomy (from the Greek meaning "Second Law" -- from deuteros "second" + nomos "law" -- perhaps because Moshe repeats many of the laws of the Torah to prepare the Jewish people for entering and living in the Land of Israel). The Book is the oration of Moses (Moshe) before he died. Moshe reviews the history of the 40 years of wandering the desert, reviews the laws of the Torah and gives rebuke so that the Jewish people will learn from their mistakes. Giving reproof right before one dies is often the most effective time to offer advice and correction; people are more inclined to pay attention and to take it to heart.

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Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

As he begins to give the Children of Israel rebuke, Moshe says:

"The Almighty, the God of your fathers, should add (to the number of your people) -- similar to you - a thousand fold" (Deut. 1:11).

Why did Moshe add the words, "similar to you" when giving them a blessing for increased multitudes?

Rabbi Leibel Eger explains that since Moshe was reproving the people for their errors, he wanted to make sure that they would not feel depressed and discouraged by his criticism. Therefore, he told them that he did not consider them to be evil, but rather there should be a thousand fold more just like them!

Our lesson: If we need to admonish someone, then the goal is for them to change. To do that, the person must feel good about himself and feel that you value him. Therefore, 1) don't condemn the person 2) find something positive to praise 3) gently show the person the negative results of his behavior 4) set out the benefits to him for changing his actions. Anyone can make a person feel awful; it takes a real artisan to build someone up.

The darkest nights produce the brightest stars.

Great opportunities come to those who
make the most of the small ones​​​​​​​.

SHABBAT SHALOM

 

Mon, August 26 2019 25 Av 5779