Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

Parashat Re'eh - 5775

My friends,

In this week's Parasha, Moses continues urging the people to keep the laws and commandments. Moses makes it very clear, as to the choices before them. The Parasha begins with the words "Re-eh" - "See, this day, I am setting before you blessing and curse" (Deuteronomy 11:26). Blessing if they keep the laws, a curse if they disobey and worship other gods.

The first word 'Re-eh', meaning 'see', is written in the singular, addressing each individual; however, 'Lifneichem', meaning 'before you', is written in the plural, directed to the entire community. Why the grammatical change within the first four words?

The Torat Moshe commentary quotes the passage from the Talmud which urges every human being to consider the world around him/her as being in balance - one half positive and the other half negative - and that his/her very next action will tip the scale to good or evil. That is the impact that an individual can make on his/her community and society. For this reason, Moses begins with the word "Re-eh" - 'See' - calling on each individual to bring a blessing to the community, because those actions will determine whether it is a just or corrupt society. Do not underestimate the impact that one individual can have on the world in which he/she lives.

This week, we mourn the passing of Mort Leder - a wonderful individual who made just such a positive impact. His kindness and generosity to so many made a huge difference and improved the lives of many in our community. May his memory always be for a blessing. Amen.

Shabbat Shalom,