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    Moses’ rebuke – D’varim

    The fifth book of the Torah begins with the words (D’varim) which Moses utters in his farewell speech to the people after his forty years of leadership.

    Rashi and other commentators say that what Moses uttered were words of rebuke.

    We wonder why, since an experienced diplomat knows the art of speaking words of praise even though he wraps up a degree of criticism inside what he says.

    There is a Chassidic explanation that says that in a sense that is precisely what Moses did.

    He reminded the people of all the blessings God had brought upon them, how He took them across the Red Sea, fed them when they were hungry and gave them water when they were thirsty, how He protected them from the elements and defended them from the enemy.

    The people got the message and realised that they had often been ungrateful and rebellious, and by the time Moses’ speech came to an end they had done t’shuvah and repented without even realising it.

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