September 24, 2023 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) -- Devarim

“These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel…” begins the first Parshah of Devarim, the final book of the Torah. Devarim consists almost entirely of the words of Moses in a series of farewell addresses. Oddly, this is the man who once tried to turn down the job on the grounds that he was not “a man of words.” (See Exo. 4:10) We’re of two minds about such men. On the one hand Western culture teaches that “actions speak louder than words” and makes heroes of the “strong, silent type.” On the other hand the Torah, while stressing the importance of actions, makes clear that words are important too. Vows are not taken lightly. Publicly shaming someone is tantamount to spilling their blood. Gossiping is deemed a sin. Likewise we are instructed to find wise teachers and listen to their words. The study of our texts emphasizes our coming back and studying them again. As we return to Devarim and starting looking ahead to the High Holidays – relax, they don’t begin until the end of September – our reflections might include focusing on the words we express and the words we heed. Words matter.


Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

Divrei Torah (117)


There are currently no divrei Torah about .




Joined: April 3, 2018


Divrei Torah (0)


Joined: November 12, 2020


Divrei Torah (0)


Joined: September 7, 2020

Divrei Torah (0)

More Faces