August 21, 2017 ~ Shabbat SHOFETIM. Maqam AJAM.

Vezot Haberakha

Earning Our Heritage

תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהילת יעקב - Earning Our Heritage- Before Moses blesses the tribes, it is proclaimed that the Torah is the heritage of our congregation. As the Children of Israel embark to enter the Promised Land, they are ready to receive their physical inheritance; their נחלה. Regarding the verse above from Deuteronomy 33, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, in his address to Congregation Beth Torah in April 2016, pointed out that there is a key difference between the words נחלה, inheritance, and מורשה, heritage. He said that while the two words have similarities, מורשה is something that you have to work hard for, whereas נחלה, like the word 'river', נחל, simply flows into you without any work involved. When it comes to the Torah, the heritage of Jacob, there is a difficult process that needs to take place in order for us to fully acquire it. It is not something that can be internalized without a significant amount of effort. Simhat Torah is the day that celebrates our efforts to earn our heritage (Beth Torah 10/22/16).