Shabbat Devarim – 07-25-2009

We’re standing on the high hilltop of July, and from our lofty vantage point we can see September. The Three Weeks are pushing us forward, down the slope toward the sadness of Tisha B’av, the momentary diversion of Tu B’Av, the thoughtfulness and preparation during the month of Elul, and finally arriving at the majesty of the Days of Awe.

We are standing on a cusp. The end of a beginning, or the beginning of an end. It’s always so hard to tell.

The metaphor is mirrored in the Torah cycle, where we have left the wilderness (Bamidbar) and are now surrounded by words (Devarim) and more words. Words that are oddly familiar, an echo of other words in other parts of Torah. Some words meant to enlighten us, some to fortify us, and some words which are discouraging.

In this first portion of the last book of Torah, Moses – the man who originally described himself as being “slow of speech” begins his final epic oration, a summary of their journey and what the the nation of Israel has learned in the process. His words this week are, by turns discouraged and discouraging as past mistakes are brought back up.

SO… limited only by your creativity and the category of food assigned, please bring something that represents “words” or “discouragement”. Or both.