What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god, the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals. Man is the measure of all things, at least that is what many would have us believe for the last few centuries. And yet, to me, this is a depressing prospect at best, since I, a member of the human race, am often filled with base thoughts, my mind full of trivia, my heart full of dross. If man is the measure of all things, poor man, poor all things! The possibility that there is no greater, better being in the universe than the human being is terrifying. How brilliant then that Re-eh, together with most of the other parashiyot in Devarim, is filled with a greater presence. Obviously, God is mentioned all through the Torah, but in the last Book His presence is at its most intense. Consider the following short passage from Chapter XIII, for example:
“…for the Lord your God putteth you to proof, to know whether ye do love your God with all your heart and with all your soul. After the Lord you God shall ye walk, and Him shall ye fear, and His commandments shall ye keep, and unto His voice shall ye hearken, and Him shall ye serve, and unto Him shall ye cleave.”
Israel is so bound to God that it truly is the laws and the story which is woven between God and Israel which bring the nation into being and give it its identity.
To hear the laws and the story at their most eloquent, come this Saturday at 10:30 when Pat Lipert will lead us with noble words and song.