Devarim 5777

After forty years, the physical voyage of the Israelites through the desert is nearly over. Moses gives a final speech to the new generation, in order to transform history into myth, and to teach the people the possibility of doing the same. Moses “began to expound the Torah,” repeating what had happened. Something that happens once is absolute. Two is the beginning of many. By retelling the story, he introduces the possibility of infinite retellings, of dynamic significance, of shifting perspective. Events happen, stories are created; time is molded through language. Legend says that Moses translated the Torah into seventy languages: more importantly, he was able to translate between generations. It is this power that Moses now bestows on us.




[Inspired by: Deuteronomy 1; Ramban on 1:1, and Rashi and Haamek Davar on 1:5; The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell; and Leben? oder Theater? by Charlotte Salomon.]





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