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Parashat Re'eh - 5774

My friends,

This Shabbat we read the fourth portion in the Book of Devarim called Re'eh - "See".

Moses continues to instruct the people of the importance of keeping G-d's commandments upon entering the Promised Land. In the opening words in the Parasha, Moses tells the people that the choice is theirs. He has been teaching them throughout he years; now it is up to them which path they would follow.

I would like to point out two important messages found in the opening verses:

"See, this day I set before you blessing and curse: blessing, if you obey the commandments of the L-rd your G-d that I enjoin upon you this day; and curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the L-rd your G-d, but turn away from the path that I enjoin upon you this day and follow other gods, whom you have not experienced." (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)

We are used to the Torah addressing the people with the word 'Shema' ('listen' or 'hear'). Here, Moses uses the word Re'eh - "See". It would seem that Moses is telling his people that the choice is so clear between good and bad, that there is no excuse for not following the good path. There is no one to blame but oneself when a person strays away from he right path.

The second point is that the word 'Hayom' ('this day' or 'today') is found in each of the first three verses of this portion. The emphasis here is on doing what is right immediately and not waiting for others. When the opportunity to perform a mitzvah comes your way, do not procrastinate, do it today.

This parasha contains many Mitzvot that would create a just society with emphasis on the role of the individual. There are many laws in this parasha regarding helping someone in need. They are written in the singular, emphasizing that each one of us has that responsibility.

Our message this Shabbat, therefore, is that the choices are very clear. Do the right thing and do it today, don't wait. Our community, our people are in need of your support. Do it and do it soon.

Shabbat Shalom,