Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
The Fewest of all Peoples
Buried inconspicuously in this week’s parsha is a short sentence with explosive potential, causing us to think again about the nature of Jewish history and the Jewish task in the present.
Moses had been reminding the new generation, the children of those who left Egypt, of the extraordinary story of which they are the heirs:
Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the L‑rd your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
The True Translation
The Anchored Journey
Variations of the following conversation occur in many a Jewish home:
Wife: Honey, I think it's time we take another step in our Jewish growth, what do you think it should be?
Husband: Are you sure this is the right time? I mean we just sent the kids to camp and all.
Wife: Yes, dear, I'm certain. I wanted to do this for a long time and don't want to delay it any longer.
Husband: So what do you propose?
Wife: I have some ideas but I want to hear from you first.
And so it goes. She wants to kosher the kitchen; he wants to donate to local Jewish charities. She wants to take on Shabbat observance; he wants to put up new mezuzot. She wants to send the children to a Jewish day school; he wants to start regularly attending Shabbat services.