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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 22 Dec 2017 08:23 PM and ends Sat 23 Dec 2017 09:24 PM
י"ז אב ה' אלפים תשס"ט
Note: The Shabbat Torah Reading continues with Moshe's address to Bnei Yisrael prior to going into the Land of Israel. The Parsha is divided into 7 sections. Each section is called an 'Aliya' [literally meaning to 'Go up'] as one person "goes up" to make a bracha [blessing] on the Torah portion that he maybe called to.
1st Aliyah: Moshe details the rewards for following the Torah and believing and trusting in Him ie Hashem will love you, bless you, your grain, your wine, your cattle. You will have no barren or infertile male or female among you or your animals, Hashem will remove every illness etc. Hashem requires us to Bless Him for the good land and food that he gave you ie the Mitzvah of Birkas Hamazon (8:10).
2nd Aliyah: Moshe warns the people that when they enter the Land and become settled and prosperous not to forget Hashem and all the things that He did for them. You might say that "My strength and the might of my hand made me all this wealth" Says Hashem "you shall remember Hashem your G-D that it was He who gives you strength to make you wealthy". If you forget Hashem and go after other gods then you shall surely perish because you did not listen to the voice of Hashem, your G-d.
3rd and 4th Aliyah: Moshe reminds the people about the sin of the Golden Calf, the rebeillion by Korach and the sins caused by the spies. But he also speaks of Hashem's forgiveness and the Second 10 commandments Tablets which he gave to Bnei Yishrael following their repentance.
Bnei Yishrael were forgiven for three reasons:
1. Hashem's promise to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.
2. The Chillul Hashem-- desecration of G-d's name--that would have occurred as the other nations may question G-d's ability to protect His nation.
3. Moshe's prayer seeking forgiveness.
5th Aliyah: Moshe poses the famous rhetorical question of, "What does G-d want... follow His ways... to observe his commandments" and describes other instances of Hashem demanding justice.
6th Aliyah: Moshe describes the virtues of the Land of Israel and urges the people to scrupulously keep to the Torah and listen to His commandments; ie to serve Hashem with all your 'heart and with all your soul' then the Land will be produce its bounty 'flowing like milk and honey' more bountiful than any other country '... 'rain in its proper time...etc'. The second Parsha of the Shema that we read each day is also contained in this Aligah. He also warns of famine and exile if the people do not follow in Hashem's ways.
7th Aliya: Moshe promises Bnei Yishrael that Hashem will drive out the other nations if you listen to the Mitzvos and follow His ways.
This week's Haftorah, is the second of the 7 Haftorah's of comfort over the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash. It describes the famous passage that Israel shall be a 'light unto the nations'.
The Navi also describes our relationship with Hashem like a mother to her child just as a mother could not possibly abandon or forget her children so nothing that we will do, or that might occur, can result in Hashem being divorced from His People. We may be exiled and and punished but there is an unbreakable bond exists between us and Hashem.
Reconizing this will reawaken our love for Hashem and bring comfort to the nation and Eretz Yisroel.