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Table Talk: Devarim & Tisha B'Av Print E-mail

Table TalkThe Healing Power of Torah: “These are the words that Moshe spoke.” The man who argued wit God and said, “I am not a man of words,” (Exodus 4:10) once he merited Torah, his tongue became cured and he began to speak words of Torah. (Devarim Rabbah I.1) The Talmud teaches that everyone was cured at Sinai. How was Moshe’s healing different? If he was healed at Sinai, why did he become a Man of Words only at the end of the 40 years? Is there a difference between his mouth being healed and his growing into a Man of Words? Consider: The ability to convey complex ideas to everybody.

Mourning or Teshuva
Why is there an emphasis on mourning on Tisha B’Av rather than Teshuva for the sins that led to the destruction? We go from Tisha B’Av into seven weeks of Nechama, or comfort and consolation. We begin the Teshuva process only after we are “comforted.” Would it not make more sense to begin focusing on Teshuva now? Is our process of mourning and comfort a preparation for Teshuva? Are our practices of mourning and comfort related to the death the resulted from the first sin?

Don’t Be Frightened
“Do not be broken and do not fear them!” (1:29) “God said to me: ‘Do not fear him!’” (3:2) “You shall not fear them.” (3:22) Why does the Torah stress that we should not fear our enemies rather than acting despite our fear? In my experience, it usually does not help when I say to someone, “Don’t be frightened.” If they are scared; they’re scared. Is it wrong to be frightened but to fight on with trust in God? Is the fear itself a lack of trust?



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