Shabbat Parashat Ha’azinu Shabbat Shuvah The Poetry of Life

Dear Friends,

It is never too late to change. And, if you ever doubted that….The proof is in this week’s Torah portion!

In this week’s Torah portion of Ha’azinu, Moses, who once considered himself incapable of speaking persuasively, suddenly changes his mode of communication. Instead of continuing to recount the history of the Exodus, the miracles of redemption, the story of our people’s wandering in the desert and of the ups and downs of our relationship with God – Moses suddenly changes his communication strategy completely! Moses begins to frame his message to our people in words of poetry!

Who would have thought that the man who described himself as “tongue-tied”, would grow into an impressive leader, a great orator, and finally, in the last year of his long life, into a genuine poet! Who would have thought that Moses would be up to changing in the 120th year of his life? Yet, we see that this was so. The message is: It is never too late to change!

This Shabbat, Shabbat Shuvah,the Shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, is the first Shabbat in the new Jewish year of 5781! We are in the midst of the ten days of repentence – ten days of soul searching for ways to increase blessing in our lives and in the world.

Can we find new ways to be creative? Can we adapt new modes of expression? Will we find a way to flourish in the New Jewish year of 5781?

Or, to put it another way….What will the poetry of our lives look like in the coming year?

I look forward to seeing you at services this Friday evening for our Shabbat Shuvah service, and then again on Sunday evening for our Kol Nidre service and on Monday for our Yom Kippur services.

And, may all our prayers be answered for the good.

Shabbat Shalom and G’mar Chatimah Tova [May we be inscribed for a good life]!

Rabbi Gilah Dror