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    Moses’ scrutiny – D’varim

    In this sidra Moses takes an in-depth look at his leadership of the Israelites.

    He has had to cope with three major problems (Deut. 1:12) – the people have been irritable with God and their leader (tor’chachem), they have resented the burden of the Torah (massa’achem), they have been split by quarrels (riv’chem).

    These problems point to the later destruction of the Temple. The sanctuary was not only destroyed by the force of external enemies but by the disintegration of their society, which took three forms (Yoma 9b) – idolatry, sexual sins and bloodshed.

    The people were irritated by having to worship God, so they chose to make idols their gods. They found it difficult to maintain modesty and regarded it as a burden. They did not respect each other and wrought violence amongst themselves, and wounded and killed one another.

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