By Marcel Saxone
Moshe’s final communication to the Jews through poetry and allegory, has one purpose I think.
That is to alert the Jews, G-d is not some quaint old man with a white beard and rosy cheeks, who brings gifts to those who are pious, and punishes those who are not.
Despite Hashem punishing Moshe by exclusion into the land of Canaan, Moshe continued to sing His praises (and His decisions) till the end.
Guaranteed Moshe was not trying to sidle up to G-d seeking favours, and redemption in his last moments. Because at all stages Moshe was only interested in the perpetuity of the Children of Israel, through an authentic covenant with G-d,.
The honest relationship Moshe had with G-d till the end, is the template of the kind of relationship we need to have with G-d today.
Jacob the patriarch provides the HOW to do this.
Years ago after he and his brother Easau had become estranged, an opportunity arose for a meeting between them.
What did Jacob do? He used the only tactics available to all of when trying to make a connection with another person.
He accumulated gifts, he sent away the vulnerable members of his group, plus he prepared to fight.
Explaining Jacob’s strategy, Jacob moved towards, away and against, the ONLY way we can ever interact with anyone
Bringing gifts was moving towards. Sending off the vulnerable was moving away, and getting ready to fight was moving against.
In other words this is how we need to treat our relationship with Hashem, to ensure a genuine relationship, and no longer say one thing, and do another.
Sometimes only we need to move towards Him, sometimes we need to move away from Him, and there are plenty of times we must move against (challenge) Him.
Currently, it appears we have a delusionary relationship with an imaginary G-d, who will reward us if we are nice. Time and time again it is noticed how good and pious Jews die or suffer despite moving endlessly towards G-d, and the “rashas” thrive and prosper after moving exclusively away.
Is it not time to wake up and re-establish that authentic relationship as demonstrated by Moshe, at the most pivotal time in his life, his imminent death. At this point there was no time for niceties, or rhetoric, Moshe had to say it as it is, and he moved towards, away and against, never declaring our piety would see us through, rather our following the Torah as difficult as that was, would give us some hope of redemption.
The prophet Isiah also reminded us not to anthropomorphise G-d
“ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, My ways”, says the Lord
Thus far we have not really listened.
What will it take??