Everyone has their own favorite song - whether that’s country, pop, or even rap. For me, songs play an integral part in my day. My alarm wakes me up to You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift, I drive to school with the same car playlist, and I always listen to my pregame playlist in my airpods before I play in my field hockey game.
This week’s parsha is Ha’azinu, and it is the second-to-last Torah portion. After Moses’ last speech to the children of Israel, G-d tells Moses to write down a song to teach to the Israelites. This was one of the last things that Moses did before he died on Mount Nebo. The song contains lyrics like “remember the days of old”, and how God “found them in a desert land” and made them his people.
You may be asking yourself, why is teaching a song one of the last things Moses does before his death? Well, I think this can be answered with understanding the significance that music holds in our lives. Music is capable of reminding us of a significant past event or a seminal moment in our lives. For example, do you have a specific song that reminds you of a time of your life? For me, the song Imagine by Ben Platt reminds me of my time at Perlman, specifically Havdalah under the Perlman tree. Or even the song As It Was By Harry Styles - a song that brings me back to when I went to a Harry Styles concert in Madison Square Garden.
The song that Moses sang is meant to help remind the Jewish people about G-d and how faith is so central to our lives. Right before his death, he wanted to educate the Jewish people not to stray away from G-d. He emphasizes G-d’s power, how G-d provides for the Jews, and how G-d will ultimately lead them to victory. Just as music is capable of changing our moods, Moses hopes that this song will inspire the Jews to restore and renew their faith in G-d.
Today, we may listen to music if we need another “push” or motivation. Moses’ final song to the Jews is to ground them and remind them of G-d’s importance. Moving forward, find something that inspires you (maybe even a favorite playlist!) to remind you of your “why” or your motivation behind whatever great things you do in your life.
Daniella Krasney, GJHRR
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