Sunday, January 19, 2014

Deuteronomy 1: Realizing Isaiah's Vision

Devarim/Words (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22) Shabbat Hazon/Vision

These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel….  "God our Lord spoke to us at Horeb, saying: 'Enough of your dwelling by this mountain.  Turn yourselves around and journey'….  See! I have given the Land before you.  Come and possess the Land that God swore that He would give to your forefathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and to their descendants after them."  (Deuteronomy 1:1, 6-8)
The vision of Isaiah .… Learn to do good, seek justice, relieve the oppressed, render justice to the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:1, 17)

Moses challenges Israelites to journey beyond theory heard at Horeb (Mt. Sinai) to its implementation in the Land they are about to enter.
On Shabbat Hazon (Vision), we link our reading Devorim in synagogue with Isaiah's vision of doing good and seeking justice in our Land.

It is followed by the 9th of Av when we mourn our ruin and exile for our failure to implement Isaiah's vision two millennia ago.
The Talmud teaches that mourning will turn to joy as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob regain sovereignty over the Land of Israel.

The mourners will merit an outburst of joy as they transform the theory of Horeb into practice and the vision of Isaiah into reality.
We saw those transformations at Achuzat Sara Children's Home in Bnei Brak, a place that 130 children consider to be their home.

Headmaster Shmuel Ron told us that the aim of his work is to put smiles on the faces of orphaned, abandoned, neglected, and abused children. 

Achuzat Sara helps its children gain self-esteem, develop emotionally and spiritually, and grow into responsible and productive adults.
The children are encouraged to cultivate their talents in areas ranging from art, music and theater to sports, computers and science.

The dismal picture of the past painted by Moses and Isaiah transformed into a vision of a bright future is what we see at Achuzat Sara.