Ha’azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52, Parshat Hashavua for Shabbat Shuva, September 23, 2023

We are almost at the end of the Torah, with only two portions left before we complete the cycle of reading. Ha’azinu, the penultimate Torah portion is a final poem sung by Moses to the Israelites as they prepare to enter the Land of Israel. He tells how God took the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and set them on a path to freedom and success. But that success will lead the Israelites to turn away from God as they enjoy their material life. God will be angered, but the Israelites will return to God again and God will take them back in love. It is appropriate that we read this portion right before Yom Kippur, because this is the message of Yom Kippur. God has given us the gift of life and a way to live and be good and yet we turn away, because our lives are busy, or we worry, or we are greedy, or we are emotionally shut down. There are any number of reasons we lose our connection with the Source of all life. And yet, Yom Kippur reminds us that all we have to do is turn back toward our true selves and the path of goodness and righteousness and God will take us back in love. Or, that all we have to do is stop, take stock of who we are and our higher values and get back on the path. G’mar chatimah tovah. May we be sealed for the good in the coming year.