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Dvar Torah: Parshat Re"eh

Rabbi Alexander Tsykin


This week we read about many mitzvot relating to the requirement to bring any sacrifices brought to Jerusalem. Again and again, we hear about certain offerings must be brought to the Temple, how grain tithes must come to Jerusalem, and how we much busy Jerusalem regularly. Why is this emphasised so strongly? The Ramban relates that the Mishkan in the desert, and afterwards the Temple, is a continuous reenactment of Mount Sinai. The constant miracles present in the Temple and its central importance in Jewish theology, as well as its status as the seat of G-d's glory on Earth, meant it was the best way for the Jews to maintain their connection with the Torah and with revelation.


But that requires maintenance. We need to visit regularly, we need to pay attention. To maintain our sense that the Torah continues to speak to us, we have to try and be there when it is revealed. We have to try to be present when G-d is available to us.


In general, every relationship requires work and attention. It requires upkeep. Our relationship with G-d is no different. The Torah here went out of its way to make sure that we would have the tools that we need to keep in touch and keep hearing the voice that spoke to us on the mountain so long ago.

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