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Parshat Ki Tavo

This week's parsha reads:

וַיִּקְרָ֥א מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֑ם אַתֶּ֣ם רְאִיתֶ֗ם אֵ֣ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר֩ עָשָׂ֨ה יְהוָ֤ה לְעֵֽינֵיכֶם֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם לְפַרְעֹ֥ה וּלְכָל־עֲבָדָ֖יו וּלְכָל־אַרְצֽוֹ׃

הַמַּסּוֹת֙ הַגְּדֹלֹ֔ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר רָא֖וּ עֵינֶ֑יךָ הָאֹתֹ֧ת וְהַמֹּפְתִ֛ים הַגְּדֹלִ֖ים הָהֵֽם

וְלֹֽא־נָתַן֩ יְהוָ֨ה לָכֶ֥ם לֵב֙ לָדַ֔עַת וְעֵינַ֥יִם לִרְא֖וֹת וְאָזְנַ֣יִם לִשְׁמֹ֑עַ עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃

Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: You have seen all that the LORD did before your very eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his courtiers and to his whole country: the wondrous feats that you saw with your own eyes, those prodigious signs and marvels. Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.

The Rambam famously speaks of fear of God - yirat hashamayim as an essential virtue for an individual. He claims that if one does not believe in the divine one should go out into nature and stay there, observing the world around them. If one returns and does not believe in the divine then Rambam says they should return for they did not look hard enough. Rambam is essentially concluding that observation must lead to faith.

This is a suggestion is not too dissimilar to the message of this week's parsha. In Moses reminds the people that their witnessing of the great things must result in faith.

We too often in life despair and lack inspiration, This week's parsha and the Rambam suggest that inspiration is not as far away as much as we might think. We must simply observe.

Shabbat Shalom

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